//Probe sought into Shaji's death

Probe sought into Shaji's death

KOLLAM: Relatives of Tillery Shaji, who is reported to have been killed in an encounter with the police at Mangalore on the night of January 19, alleged that the Mangalore police had bumped off Shaji in a pre-planned murder.

At a press conference here on Monday, Shaji’s brothers Nazim, Sajjar and Nazaruddin along with their lawyer P.N. Haskar, said that they demand a probe by an independent agency into the death.

They said that they had ample grounds to doubt that Shaji was shot dead by the police at the instance of a politician.

Alleging it was a cold-blooded murder, Shaji’s mother has submitted petitions to the National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commission, Kerala Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary.

Admitting that Shaji was involved in some criminal cases, Mr. Haskar said that those were mere warrant cases. He was not a big-time criminal to be killed in an encounter with the police. Shaji was doing a part-time hotel management course at Mangalore with the desire of going abroad for work. There were evidences to show that the Mangalore Police had arrested him on January 11.

Mr. Haskar said that when he got information about the arrest he reached Mangalore on January 18 to help get Shaji released. But in the interim, the Mangalore police played a drama by coming in search of Shaji to Kollam. And, at 11.45 p.m. on January 19, Shaji was shot dead in a so-called encounter, he said.

Though the Mangalore police claimed that they had returned the fire when Shaji fired at them with a pistol, they had not taken fingerprints from the pistol, he pointed out.