THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state police failing to investigate the mysterious death of journalist S V Pradeep effectively, an online signature and social media campaign has been started by his friends and relatives demanding a CBI probe.
Last week, an action council was constituted demanding a comprehensive probe by a central investigation agency. Over 10,000 people have already signed up with the signature campaign titled ‘Justice for SV Pradeep’ started on change.org, demanding a CBI probe.
The petitioner in the signature campaign is Pradeep’s mother R Vasanthakumari. She has also submitted a petition to State Police Chief Loknath Behera urging him to hand over the probe to CBI.
In addition, Pradeep’s colleagues, friends and relatives also started sharing his picture with the slogan ‘Justice for Pradeep’ on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. According to the campaigners, the state government should hand over the investigation to a central investigation agency, preferably CBI.
They decided to intensify the online campaign as the Thiruvananthapuram city police failed to investigate further and closed the case as a “hit-and-run” accident. Though the driver of the tipper lorry was arrested a day after the accident at Karakkamandapam near Nemom, the investigators never showed any interest in probing the conspiracy angle alleged by relatives.
“Pradeep’s family believes that his death is not due to the accident but it is a well-planned murder executed by goons of CPM. Since Pradeep was a critic of the present government, he had a good number of enemies. Moreover, the police team that investigated the case changed the FIR by replacing IPC Section 302 (punishment for murder) with Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). This move is suspicious,” a campaign supporter said.
The supporters allege that the police did not check his phone’s cloud storage and GPS and details of other vehicles at the time of the accident. Earlier, the action council had raised doubt about the two motorcyclists seen moving on Pradeep’s left in the CCTV footage.