Domestic violence survivor’s kin hold police responsible for suspect’s alleged escape

Action sought against suspect’s family members for alleged conspiracy and facilitating his escape

Published - May 16, 2024 11:01 pm IST - Kozhikode

Youth Congress workers trying to break the barricade during a march to the Pantheerankavu police station seeking the arrest of the suspect in the domestic violence case.

Youth Congress workers trying to break the barricade during a march to the Pantheerankavu police station seeking the arrest of the suspect in the domestic violence case. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The family members of the survivor in the Pantheerankavu domestic violence case held the police accountable for the alleged escape of the suspect from Kozhikode district. Claiming that the man had left for Singapore via Bengaluru, they said the involvement of his family members in facilitating his easy escape and the domestic violence case should be probed.

Though Rahul P. Gopal, the suspect in the case, released a video claiming that he had left the country for his own protection, the police remained tight-lipped over the claim. In the video, he argued that there were no clashes in the family seeking dowry. He also admitted that he had beaten up his wife. Meanwhile, the police squads carried out extensive searches in various parts of Karnataka for him after tracking his last location.

In the wake of the survivor’s revelations that Rahul’s mother and sister had involvement in the torture she faced at their home, the police would soon record their statement. Police sources said a case would be registered against them as part of the continuing investigation into the incident. On Thursday, the Special Investigation Team recorded the statement of the survivor and her parents, who took up the issue with the police.

The police also decided to record the statement of the survivor before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Application would be moved at the Kozhikode Chief Judicial Magistrate Court for the same. More applicable sections would also be invoked against the suspect based on the statement.

On May 16 (Thursday), the police recovered the hard disc of surveillance cameras at the house of Rahul as part of gathering evidence in the case. Rahul’s family members claimed that they were not aware of his alleged escape from Bengaluru to Singapore. They said Rahul had German citizenship, which led to the levelling of allegation.

It was on May 5 that the marriage between Rahul and the North Paravur native took place. Details of the alleged physical torture and domestic violence came to light when the girl’s parents came to see her at Pantheerankavu on May 12. Though they took up the matter with the Pantheerankavu police, there was no proper response.

The probe got on track after the family took up the issue with the State Police Chief and the Chief Minister. The Pantheerankavu Station House Officer had been placed under suspension after he was found responsible for cold-shouldering the probe and denying justice to the survivor.

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