SIT gets custody of four accused in Kizhakkambalam clash

Dedicated team combing through CCTV footage for gathering evidence

The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Kolenchery, on Thursday granted the police three days’ custody of four accused in the case related to the violent clash between migrant workers engaged by Kitex Garments and the police at Kizhakkambalam on Saturday night.

The special investigation team (SIT) probing the case received the custody of the accused, whom they identified as key players in the violence.

“We have started their custodial interrogation to verify the sequence of events. Based on their statements, the custody of more accused will be sought if need be,” said a senior officer associated with the investigation. Of the four, three hail from Manipur and one from Jharkhand. Their custody period will end on Saturday.

The accused were among those charged with damaging police vehicle and properties. They were taken to labour camps as part of evidence collection. A police person’s ID card was retrieved from the camp. This was allegedly forcibly taken away by the rioting migrant workers on the fateful night.

The SIT had on Wednesday arrested 10 persons, taking the total number of arrests in the twin cases registered by the police to 174. The 19-member SIT is led by Perumbavoor Assistant Superintendent of Police Anuj Paliwal and comprises two Inspectors and seven sub-inspectors in addition to other ranks.

A dedicated team is combing through the CCTV footage and other videographic content for potential evidence.

The Kunnathunadu police had registered two First Information Reports, one each for the assault of Inspector V.T. Shajan and for the arson and damage of public properties worth around ₹12.05 lakh, arraigning 300 identifiable persons. The accused were from 11 different States and were sent to different jails in Kakkanad, Muvattupuzha, and Thrissur.

Among the charges invoked against the accused are attempt to murder, voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty, unlawful assembly, rioting, and wrongful confinement.

A Labour department team led by State Labour Commissioner S. Chithra inspected the migrant labour camps being maintained by the company at Kizhakkambalam on the direction of the government on Wednesday.

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