The Ernakulam Additional District and Sessions Court on Wednesday sent Roopesh and his wife, Shyna, alleged Maoist operatives, to police custody till June 2. Considering a petition by the Internal Security Investigation Team (ISIT) of the State police, the court directed the police to permit the couple’s counsel to be present during interrogation. Further, it also asked the agency to take steps to protect the constitutional rights of the couple and extend medical assistance to them.
On Friday, the couple’s counsel, Tushar Nirmal Saradhy, sought permission to meet his clients once daily while they were in police custody to prevent possible custodial torture. The police sought the couple’s custody for 15 days for the witnesses to identify them and for gathering evidence in connection with a case in which they allegedly harboured Maoist central committee member Malla Raja Reddy and his wife, Beecha Jagana, in a rented house at Kanjirakkattu, near Perumbavoor. After the arrest of Malla Raja Reddy and wife by the Andhra police, Roopesh and Shyna allegedly broke into the house and destroyed several crucial documents including a computer.
In this connection, the police booked the couple under Section 212 of the IPC for harbouring a Maoist leader. They were also arraigned under Sections 10 (13)(A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sections 419, 121 (A), 212, and 34 of the IPC. Earlier, the court had remanded them in judicial custody for 20 days, till June 10. Following their arrest with three other suspected operatives in Coimbatore on May 4, they were brought to Kochi on May 20 on the basis of a production warrant issued by the court here.