Kerala govt freezes order to reinstate controversial cop

Kerala govt freezes order to reinstate controversial cop
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The Kerala government has frozen the controversial order of reinstating a police officer, who was suspended for alleged lapses that led to the killing of a Dalit Christian last year.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has frozen the controversial order of reinstating a police officer, who was suspended for alleged lapses that led to the killing of a Dalit Christian last year.

The order was cancelled by the home department on the instructions of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as media reports on reinstating M S Shibu, the former station house officer at the Gandhi Nagar police station in Kottayam, had triggered a controversy. The order, issued by the Kochi Range inspector general for revoking his suspension, was frozen under the relevant sections of the Kerala Police Departmental Inquiries Punishment and Appeal Act, sources said.

The family of the victim, Kevin P Joseph, had submitted a representation to Vijayan after visiting him at the secretariat here on Wednesday. Joseph's family had alleged that they filed a complaint after he was abducted, but the police did not take any action on it. The 23-year-old was abducted on May 27 last year by a gang, allegedly hired by his wife's family. His body was found in a river in Kollam district a day later. Director General of Police Loknath Behera had made it clear that he was not aware of the development and had come to know about the officer's reinstatement only through media reports.

During the ongoing trial in the case in the district additional sessions court, Joseph's wife submitted that it was a case of honour killing as he was abducted and killed by her relatives. The woman also told the court that her father had objected to her relationship as he belonged to a lower caste. She had alleged that Joseph was abducted and killed by her relatives as they thought that their marriage would bring disgrace to her family.

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