People have come to Thiruvananthapuram to support Sreejith's protest for justice
A campaign has been gathering steam on social media and it has nudged young people across Kerala to gather in support of Sreejith, who for over 760 days has been protesting outside the state secretariat to seek justice for his brother who allegedly died in police custody in 2014.
His brother, Sreejeev, was arrested in an alleged theft case. Sreejith said his brother was a victim of police torture and so he has undertaken a hunger protest for the last 30 days.
"The state government first agreed for a CBI probe. Now they say a re-investigation will be done by a special police team. What is this? It is the government's responsibility to give me justice. My brother died in police custody after being tortured," Sreejith told NDTV.
29-year-old Sreejith's single-handed protest for over 700 days has galvanised support from the youth over the weekend, who gathered at the secretariat and assured him of their support.
One of the supporters is Shahbaaz Mansood, who came from Malappuram, 360 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram, to meet Sreejith. "I am here to support Sreejith. I don't know him personally. I have seen the hashtag campaign for the last two days and just decided to come and fight with him for justice," Mr Mansood said.
Akhil Thomas from Palakkad said the secretariat is the headquarters of Kerala's politics. "Many protests keep happening here on this street. Congress, CPM and then BJP workers. The leaders have crossed Sreejith so many times, but no one considered to help him. Now we want justice," Mr Thomas said.
The Police Complaints Authority, which launched a parallel probe into the incident, found the cause of the death as custodial torture.
The state government provided for a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family. The state referred the case to CBI last year, but in December the CBI declined to take up the case.
While Sreejith continues his protest, top state police sources said some procedural lapses have happened but denied any instance of custodial torture.
"The arrested person, Sreejeev, consumed poison which was hidden in his underwear soon after his arrest. He was rushed to the hospital where he even told the doctor the name of the poison he consumed," said a senior officer who declined to be named.
"The police found a suicide note and the post-mortem report shows no injuries. We are open for probe by anybody, any agency. We have nothing to hide," the officer told NDTV.