02/01/2018, 09.08
INDIA
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782 day sit in ends after police promise to investigate 'murdered' brother

SR Sreejith has become a social media "hero". His peaceful protest before Kerala State Secretariat. His brother Sreejeev died in police custody. Between 2010 and 2015, at least 591 deaths in custody.

Trivandrum (AsiaNews / Agencies) – An Indian man who has staged a 782 day sit-in in front of the Kerala State Secretariat has decided to suspend his protest. SR Sreejith has achieved his goal: a federal investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), will investigate his brother’s death in police custody.

In recent weeks SR Sreejith’s story has become famous thanks to social media. His personal story has attracted the attention of many well-known faces from the world of sport and Bollywood. On social media, the hashtag "#JusticeForSreejith" has received thousands of shares.

His sit-in started on May 22, 2015. The reason: justice for his younger brother Sreejeev, 26, who died in mysterious circumstances in the government hospital. The young man had been arrested a few days before by the agents for the alleged theft of a cell phone. According to the policemen, Sreejeev committed suicide. On the contrary, Sreejith has always maintained that his relative had been beaten up by the police, perhaps to punish him for the clandestine relationship with a woman, the future spouse of one of the agents.

The popularity gained thanks to social networks has prompted the State Assembly to call an internal police investigation. For Sreejith it was not enough and he asked for the intervention of federal investigators.

In India, organizations that defend human rights complain that often suspicious deaths in the hands of police agents are covered by calling them "suicide cases". According to the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, between 2010 and 2015 at least 591 people died in custody.

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