In the review of the new Malayalam movie, Vargam, Rishi Raj Singh writes about lockup deaths
The film Vargam serves to portray police officers as they are: both, at times philanthropic and at times swayed by mean desires involving graft and physical torture. There is only one point of disagreement with the theme — where the death of a young boy in police lockup is shown not properly investigated by senior police officers or the ever-alert press. In a highly literate State like Kerala, this kind of police brutality is neither possible nor plausible.[ A love story in police style]
1988, a movie called Piravi (Birth) was made by Shaji Karun on the disappearance of an engineering student in Kerala. This student was tortured and killed by police and is based on the real life incident of Rajan. That particular incident happened during the time of emergency when the police ran wild in India. Recently a parade was held in the Central Jail in Trivandrum to identify police constables in connection with the lockup death of an Udayakumar. That is not the only one and there have been allegations about other deaths as well.
The incidents of police brutality might be less due to a highly literate and political population, but it is certainly there.