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How dare you question me (police)?

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Rajesh G, in a complaint to the Karnataka Police Complaint Authority (KPCA), alleged that policemen from the Bannerghatta police station assaulted him with a cricket bat on October 16. He had questioned them when they were assaulting two men fighting on the road. The cops turned on Rajesh, causing him injuries to his right ankle.

Rajesh's pleas of innocence and request to treat him humanely aggravated the attack. They broke his ankle and produced him before a magistrate, claiming he was injured while running away from cops. The magistrate sent him to jail and he was released on bail two days later.

The trauma took a different turn in the police station when he was in great pain. His phone was taken away and he was denied medical aid. The policemen then allegedly demanded that he tell the magistrate that he was injured after he fell off his bike while attempting to run away from the police. He was also made to sign a form in Kannada which he cannot read.

Gopal Menon, Rajesh's friend and a human rights activist, said, "On Tuesday, hours after he lodged a complaint with the authorities, Rajesh received threatening calls, asking him to withdraw charges against the policemen. Two men came to Fortis Hospital around 10.30pm and threatened him with charges of rape against him. They said if he was ready to compromise, they'd let him off the hook and even pay the hospital charges," Menon said.


For the full report in the ToI, click here.

The report has also states that "A departmental inquiry was ordered by the director-general of police on Wednesday into the allegation of police brutality against an IT trainer. It'll be headed by a deputy superintendent of police". Well, just as well that the state now has a "Police Complaints Authority" (check here), and hopefully the same will be looking into the complaint thoroughly and impartially. The very fact of the two brokers offering to "let him (Mr Rajesh) off the hook and even pay the hospital charges", clearly indicates the cops' criminality. It is hoped that the KPCA will award stringent punishment to the culprits, as also to their accomplices, in order that it becomes a strong deterrent to such high-handedness on the part of the police force. There have been enough and more of such happenings in the state in the past (some of which have found mention on PRAJA here, and here, though this particular instance ranks high for the level of brutality.

Apart from meting out exemplary punishment to the cops involved (whose guilt I am making a presumption about), shouldn't the state also be offering an official apology to the victim, perhaps at the Home Minister's level if not the CM himself (as the Australian government did to none other than an Indian doctor - check here), as also compensating him adequately for the trauma undergone, in addition to paying up the entire hospital charges? And, perhaps a part of the compensation amount should come out of the PF and such accruals of the cops involved. Only then will the lessons be driven home properly.

The episode also highlights the need for a change in the outlook of the police force that will make it command the respect of the people than be seen as the devil to be kept a safe distance from. Therein lies the bigger challenge, and that's what I tried to convey when I stated as below in my post on "Police Complaints Authority" (check here):

A question that arises here is that, when a body of such high-ranking officials is constituted, shouldn't it be entrusted with more responsibilities than merely attending to complaints, particularly when there is besides the KSHRC (Karnataka State Human Rights Commission) supposedly doing an almost similar job? Any and everyone will concede that there are many things wrong with the policing in the state. As such, cannot this august body play a more proactive role to addresss the various issues involved?

Muralidhar Rao

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murali772's picture

Kudos to LokAyukta

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Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao met G Rajesh, an IT trainer who was allegedly beaten up by officers from Bannerghatta police station, at Fortis Hospital on Thursday morning. ADGP H N Satyanarayana Rao accompanied the Lokayukta. Both assured Rajesh of justice and asked him to file an affidavit before the magistrate, explaining the circumstances where the police compelled him to give a  statement that he was injured after falling into a ditch.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Good to read about this proactive move of the LokAyukta.

If the Prajagalu are in overall agreement, I would like to address a letter to the LokAyukta stating that, once the criminality of the cops is established, the government be asked to apologise to the victim. Simultaneously, I would also like to ask the government to compensate him for the trauma undergone, apart from bearing the hospital charges, a large part of the money for which should come from the earnings of the cops involved.

Muralidhar Rao
xs400's picture

What about the magistrate ?

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What was the role of the magistrate here?

I am ignorant of the roles of these, what are the names of the magistrate, the policemen, the police station at which they work and their superior officers?

The chain of command above the magistrate?

The actions of the policemen and subsequent actions by the magistrate, the brokers and others (via inaction and tacit consent) shows that all of them are involved and this is not the first case where they did not know what had to be done at each stage of this drama.

Compensation from cops earnings?!  Does this mean they will continue to provide 'service' to their masters and overlords? They should be let loose as criminals and given the corrections systems inability to handle large numbers, an 'encounter' would suffice.

murali772's picture

yes, Magistrate's role in question too

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@ xs400 - The role of the Magistrate too is very much in question. How can he so readily accept the charge by the cops and send the victim to the jail, without the least bit of application of mind? This too perhaps needs to be taken up with the LokAyukta, if not with the Chief Justice himself.

The compensation I have suggested is on top of the criminal proceedings against the cops involved.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

plain arrogance

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I can eliminate you within two days’. ‘Just vanish from here, or else you will have it.’ Not a movie villain’sdialoguesbut a police jeep driver threatening a private company employee who requested him to move his vehicle which had blocked the roadfor almost 30 minutes on Saturday morning. The victim filed a police complaint and a departmental inquiry was ordered. - - - - Ram (name changed victim) decided to file a police complaint and called 100. “I was told to call the jurisdictional DCP. When I tried calling him, his phone was switched off and his office said he was on leave,” Ram said. Later, Ram filed a police complaint with Kamal Pant, additional commissioner of police (law & order) who told STOI he would order a departmental probe into the incident.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here

Kudos to Ram for persisting with the matter, and taking it upto the level of the Addl Commr (L&O). One hopes stringent action will be taken against the errant cops.

Police vehicles violating traffic rules are quite the order of the day. Worst is their attitude when citizens point out the wrong doings. Police reforms, that are being attempted by various states, very much need to include these behavioral aspects too in order for the force to gain the respect of the citizens.
 

Muralidhar Rao

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