A 27-year-old tribal youth said to be “not of sound mind” was beaten to death in Kerala by a lynch mob which had accused him of theft, according to the mother.
The turn of event on Thursday has elicited response from across the state after a perpetrator of the beating posted a selfie taken just minutes before the crime.
Twitter had posts that said: “@CMOKerala… please take urgent action on this matter and bring the culprits in front of Justice.”
Speaking to the media on Friday, Malli, mother of the slain youth Madhu, said: “It was yesterday (Thursday) evening that my son was beaten up by a group of people in the forest (near Attapadi-Agali) saying that he was a thief. Then he was handed over to the police and soon he developed complications. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. He is not a thief, instead he was not of sound mind,” said the grieving mother.
The entire episode was shot on a mobile and posted on social media.
It was only after actor-director Joy Mathew had posted the visuals on the social media that various political leaders, including chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the incident.
“This is some sort of a fascist Malayali psyche which has developed recently and has to be tackled. If the police wish to arrest me for sharing this video in the social media, let them do that,” said Mathew.
Vijayan in his Facebook post said: “This is in no way good for a literate society and the progress that our state has made. I have instructed the state police chief to see that all those who have had a role to be brought before the rule of law.”
The local tribal community are up in arms and have demanded that if the people behind the incident were not arrested, they would launch a protest.
State minister of SC/ST, AK Balan told the media: “Those who did it claim that this youth was a thief, but that’s their allegation. The state government will act very strongly and none who have done this would be spared.”
State police chief Loknath Behra said that he had handed over the case to Thrissur Inspector General of Police and “everyone who had done this would be brought to book”.
The body will be taken for an autopsy at the Thrissur Medical College hospital.