12 June, 2021

Injustice Embalmed

A mummified body is evidence in a search for legal retribution

Injustice Embalmed

IT is a real-life story that could be straight out of Dostoevsky or Kafka. Interned in a mud chamber built in front of his house, rests the mummified body of Gopi, the son of K. Thankappan The preserved body, immersed in in a huge polythene bag, is evidence Thankappan's eight-year-long legal to establish the cause of his son's death battle that seems to have paid off with Kerala High Court's order last directing the state DGP to reopen the and file his report to the court in 90 days

Twenty-four-year-old Gopi had died police custody under suspicious circumstances, on October 6, 1988, at Shertallai, the hometown of Kerala Chief A.K. Antony. The police had sent a to the victim's family, directing them claim the body from the mortuary. The son given for the death was suicide. Thankappan, who found that his body bore marks of torture and physical assault, was not convinced. He sought a legal directive for a formal inquiry into the death, and preserved the body, at a cost of Rs 800 a month, through the relentless legal battle.

Thankappan, the...

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