The incident not only exposed the third-degree torture techniques employed by the police force but caused much embarrassment for the then-Congress government in power.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Thiruvananthapuram Tuesday found six police officers guilty of killing a 27-year-old youth after taking him into custody over allegations of theft back in 2005.

The ruling by CBI special court judge J Nasser comes 13 years after the incident was reported. The quantum of punishment for the accused is expected to be announced in a day or two. Of the six accused officers, one of them passed away during the trial.

On September 27, 2005, 27-year-old Udayakumar and his friend Suresh were picked up from the Sreekantheshwaram Park by officials of the Fort Police Station in Thiruvananthapuram, after being found in possession of money amounting to Rs 4,500. While both of them were taken into custody on the accusation of being involved in a theft, Udayakumar, in particular, was brutally tortured by the officers to allegedly extract a confession from him.

Udayakumar was reportedly beaten with cane sticks on his leg and a heavy iron pipe was rolled down his thighs to inflict pain. His eventual death as a result of the torture was called ‘urutti kola‘ (rolling murder) by the local media. The incident not only exposed the third-degree torture techniques employed by the police force, but caused much embarrassment for the then-Congress government in power.

Over the last 13 years, the case witnessed several twists and turns, initially during the probe conducted by the state police, and later during the CBI investigation, including witnesses turning hostile and documents being fabricated to pin the charge of robbery on the accused. However, the CBI court’s decision today will come as a big relief for Udayakumar’s mother Prabhavati, who relentlessly pursued the case over the decade.

The accused cops, awaiting the quantum of punishment, are K Jithukumar and SV Sreekumar, both of whom were constables who took Udayakumar into custody in 2005. The others are T Ajith Kumar (then SI), EK Sabu (then CI) and TK Haridas (then Asst Commissioner). KV Soman, who was a constable and accused in the case, died during the trial.

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