24-yr-old man accused of raping a minor dies in Kerala jail, father alleges foul play

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Two days after a 24-year-old rape accused in Idukki was found dead in the district jail, his family has alleged that he was killed by police officers. Manu Manoj of Nariyampara near Kattappana was accused by the family of a 17-year-old Dalit girl that he had sexually assaulted her, however his family said that it was a consensual relationship and their marriage was about to be fixed. Manu was found dead in the district jail in Mutton on Thursday evening. According to jail officials, he took his own life and though he was rushed to the district hospital in Thodupuzha, he was already dead.

The relatives of the 17-year-old girl had complained that Manu had sexually assaulted her after making a false promise of marriage. The girl attempted to take her own life on October 23 and died last week while on treatment at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital. It was after her death that Manu was arrested.

However, Manoj, Manu's father, says that Manu and the girl were in a relationship for the past few years. He claimed that both the families had agreed to get them married when the girl turned 18. He also alleged that it was a relative of the family, a policeman, who was instrumental in filing a case against Manu.

"I had gone to her house and they had agreed that an engagement can be done soon. But later they filed a case. The girl had informed Manu that her family was planning to file a case. The BJP workers here are behind all this. The girl attempted to take her life after the news started appearing on social media," Manoj alleged.

Manoj has alleged that his son was killed by officers in jail. He also alleged that one of the police officers is a relative of the victim in the rape case. "They said that he was found hanging from a towel. How can someone hang from a towel? There were also wounds on his shoulder," Manoj alleged.

A death note was also reportedly found on Manu. Manoj claims that the note was not written by his son. 

He also alleged that there were political reasons behind the case against Manu as he was a Democratic Youth Front of India (DYFI) worker. However, DYFI had ousted Manu soon after the case was registered.