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Act against these police brutes

DH News Services, Bengaluru, Dec 2 2017, 11:32 IST

Is it the job of the Police Commissioner of Bengaluru to uphold the rule and law and provide a sense of security to its citizens, or is he there only to protect his colleagues, even when they turn a menace to society by misusing their powers? Two recent incidents of gross police brutality on innocent citizens and the lethargic response of the police top brass to bring the culprits to justice quickly highlight the state of the law and order machinery in Karnataka. The incidents bear a brief recalling. Two employees of an IT company, who were making enquiries about an address off Hosur Road, were picked up by the police, on the suspicion that they were pickpockets. After taking them to the police station and allegedly thrashing them, the police reportedly realised they had made a mistake and let them go. The two victims have filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission. No action has been taken against the policemen involved.

In another instance, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (JP Nagar) Manjunath Babu, accompanied by a constable, barged into a restaurant on Dinnur Main Road around midnight and assaulted its owner Rajeev Shetty with a lathi, merely for offering a gentle defence that he had not committed any wrong by keeping the restaurant open. The CCTV footage of Babu holding Shetty by the collar and raining blows on him, while the constable chases away the costumers with another lathi, have gone viral, causing outrage among the public. Babu walked into the restaurant five minutes to midnight and since Shetty served only food and no liquor, he had permission to keep it open until 1 am on all days, according to rules. In the case of bars and restaurants serving liquor, the closing time is 11.30 pm on weekdays and 1 am on weekends. So, being a police officer, Babu resorting to violence like a common goonda, is completely unacceptable. An inquiry conducted by a senior official has confirmed that the ACP "assaulted the hotel owner without any reason and committed an offence," but Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar and Director General of Police Neelamani Raju have not yet initiated any action on the report.

The police are meant to serve the citizens and ensure their safety and security, not beat them up at will. In both cases, those involved have crossed the limits of civility and clearly violated the human rights of their victims. The policemen and officers concerned must be given exemplary punishment so that it serves as a deterrent to others who might try to misuse their uniform and authority.

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