Smirking mobster takes selfie with tribal leader who died shortly after

A mobster took a smirking selfie with a tied-up tribal man who died shortly after after being beaten with sticks.

The picture was snapped in the village of Kottathara in the southern Indian state of Kerala and shows a frail-looking man tied up and being interrogated.

A video also shows the tied-up man being interrogated by a mob, who accuse him of stealing food.

The 30-year-old, named as A. Madhu, was a member of local tribal group the Adivasi, and was reported to have been beaten up by a mob who used sticks to thrash him.

Police say a group of citizens handed Madhu over to a patrol, who started to drive him to a police station as he was wanted for some petty thefts .

But when Madhu started to vomit in the police car so they changed direction and headed for the nearest hospital.

It is reported he was declared dead on arrival.

An unnamed police officer told local media: "Madhu has previously been accused of robbing shops and we were trying to nab him for quite some time. He has three cases registered against him.

"The locals had got CCTV visuals of Madhu stealing from a shop. A few locals spotted him in the hills, tied him up and brought him to the town. Then they informed us and we reached the spot to take him into custody."

He confirmed Madhu had become unwell in the police vehicle and added: "We then took him to the hospital. By the time we reached there, he had lost consciousness. The doctors then declared him dead."

Another police officer, an unnamed deputy superintendent, confirmed that Madhu had been beaten up, but claimed it was not proven that his death was a result of the attack.

He said: "The people in the mob were all locals of Agali, not from outside.

"But we can’t conclude that the death was caused by that. We can confirm the cause of death only after getting the postmortem report.

"He used to wander around and lived in the forest and caves. During the night he would steal rice from provision stores in the area. There is a theft case against him at Agali police station.

"On Wednesday, he stole rice from a store at Kalkkanda. On Thursday night, the mob went to the forest and beat him up."

There were some reports that Madhu suffered from a mental illness.

A former worker at a government-run body called the Attappadi Hills Area Development Society said the death was an example of how Indians had treated tribal people abominably.

Usha Punathil said: "After stealing the land and everything the Adivasis owned, and making legislation for all that, now an Adivasi is beaten to death.

"He had nowhere to go when he was attacked. An Adivasi is killed accused of stealing food, then how should we who have stolen everything from them be killed?"


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