Kerala police deny stripping youth, probe begins


Thiruvananthapuram : Officials Sunday began investigation into a reported stripping of a youth by the police here late Friday following an accusation that he had stolen a mobile phone.

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Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Saturday ordered the probe after 24-year-old Rafeeq was beaten up at bus stop by a mob angered at a flash strike of transport employees.

The youth was later strip-searched by police officials on an accusation of stealing a cell phone. The state police, however, denied the incident and insisted the youth stripped himself to prove his innocence.

Rafeeq, the youth, was injured in the public assault and has been hospitalised.

The State Human Rights Commission also took note of the incident and Saturday asked the city police commissioner to explain the sequence of events that led to the ghastly incident.

The police, however, maintain that they had no role in stripping Rafeeq and that he had volunteered to do so.

“There was an altercation on the main road and this youth was beaten up by the people who complained that a mobile phone was stolen. After he was beaten up, he volunteered to strip to prove his innocence,” City Police Commissioner Ravada Chandrasekhar told IANS.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ramesh Babu has begun the probe on the home minister’s orders and has recorded Rafeeq’s statement.

“The youth has already given a statement that he was never asked to strip and he had volunteered to do so. The police had no role in it at all,” Chandrasekhar said. He added that those guilty of assaulting Rafeeq would be arrested soon.