Aspecial court in Kerala on Thursday said it will on April 4 pronounce its verdict in the case of killing of a tribal man in Palakkad district of the state for allegedly stealing food articles in 2018.
Madhu, a tribal from Attappady, was killed after he was caught, tied and thrashed by a group of local people alleging theft on February 22, 2018.
The special court for trial of offences under the SC/ST Act reserved judgement in the case after hearing arguments from April last year. The trial in the matter saw witnesses turning hostile, allegations of threats to the victim’s family to settle or withdraw the case and a change in the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in June last year, Advocate Rajesh M Menon, who was the additional public prosecutor in the case, took charge as SPP in June last year after the victim’s family sought a change in prosecutor. SPP Menon confirmed that the special court reserved its judgement and has set April 4 to pronounce its decision. There are 16 accused in the case. According to the post-mortem report in the case, Madhu had injuries on the head and bruises all over the body, including broken ribs, as well as internal bleeding, police had said. Madhu, who was said to be mentally unsound, was living in a cave in the forest for the past several months, his family had said. His mother, Mallika, and sister, Chandrika, had told television channels back in 2018 that a group of nearly 10-15 persons had gone to the forest and thrashed him for allegedly stealing food articles from some shops in the forest-fringe Agali town in Palakkad district.