Kerala mother slams newspaper ad on son's death
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An advertisement in newspapers detailing the sequence of events on the action taken in the alleged suicide of Jishnu Prannoy has been slammed by the engineering student's mother and family members.
The advertisement titled 'Jishnu Case - The truth behind it', has been released by the Kerala government on Saturday which mentioned the action taken by it on the issue.
Prannoy was found hanging in January on the campus of the Nehru College of Engineering and Research, in Thrissur.
Initially, Prannoy's death was dismissed as a case of suicide, but after his mother Mahija protested, police have taken up the case again as she has been firm on her belief that her son was 'killed' by the college authorities.
Speaking to the media, she said: "Right from day one after I lost my son, the case has been turned upside down."
"It was after 90 days, we decided to come to the state capital to seek justice by staging a protest before the office of the police chief.
"We were stopped and roughed up badly by police. Our family including my son admired Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan but now he says nothing happened to us," she said.
"But in the advertisement it says the police did not do anything to us... instead we were literally thrashed by police. Why did not the Chief Minister call Jishnu's mother at least once," she added.
Mahija and her brother were admitted in the Medical College hospital after they suffered injuries.
Reacting to the advertisement, media critic C.R. Neelakandan said: "At the height of the Singur struggle, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) dealt with the struggle through advertisements and in the bargain, that party has literally vanished from Bengal. What's happening now in Kerala is similar to that and things are going bad to worse for the CPI-M in Kerala."
Meanwhile, at Mahija's home near Kozhikode, Prannoy's 15-year-old sister is undertaking a fast which entered the fourth day.
Their house on Saturday saw a string of visitors which included former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
"We have never seen this case as a political weapon. It's most unfortunate that Vijayan is yet to meet up with this hapless smother and this shows that there is a feeling of guilt. We as a responsible opposition is willing to do anything to cooperate with the government to end this strike," said Chandy.
Officials are keep a close watch on the girl's health. She told the media on Saturday: "This is the least that I can do for my brother and now I am prepared to die for him," adding she would not call off the fast till justice is delivered.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala after meeting her said it was most unfortunate that the state government resorted to a false advertisement.
"What's wrong if the hapless family demands action against the police officials who roughed Mahija and her family members. It's very sad the state government is doing nothing to resolve this issue. What's wrong if Vijayan meets this mother," said Chennithala.
But Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja told reporters in Kozhikode that one fails to understand why Mahija is on a strike now.
"The Chief Minister has taken it up personally and police did arrest two of the main accused in Prannoy's death. It's going to be a matter of time the others also are arrested. We feel that politics has taken over the strike," said Shailaja.