Days after a 30-year-old policeman was found dead on a railway track in Kerala, his family has alleged that he was being harassed by seniors in the department because he belonged to a scheduled tribe community.
Kumar NK's wife, Sajini RS, has confirmed that the handwriting in the suicide note as genuine. "I suspect foul play. In the letter, my husband has specifically accused some senior police officers of harassing him. They forcefully evicted him from his new housing quarters. He also told me on several occasions about how these people were mistreating him because of his background," she said.
Ms Sajini said she will meet the Palakkad police chief tomorrow to register a formal complaint. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Thrissur range) has formed a special team led by the Palakkad Special Branch Superintendent of Police to probe the case.
Mr Kumar, who belonged to a tribal hamlet in Attappady region, was attached to an Armed Reserved Camp in Palakkad. The post-mortem report of his body, which was found on a railway track last Thursday, is still awaited.
Police said that Mr Kumar was earlier declared as a "deserter" on disciplinary grounds but eventually reinstated into the force.
There have been many instances of people belonging to the tribal community being harassed by their colleagues in the workplace. In the most prominent incident of the kind to emerge over the last few months, Payal Tadvi - a gynaecologist employed at the BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai - had hanged herself in her hostel room on May 22 after allegedly facing casteist slurs from senior colleagues. Later, three doctors were arrested for alleged abetment on the basis of a three-page suicide note written by her.