False theft complaint: KSHRC fines four cops

The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission has directed four police officials to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to a man who was illegally detained in 2013 and booked for a theft he never committed.

The policemen in question are D Devaraja, SP, Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force, H Siddappa, ACP, KR Puram (now retired), R Punith Kumar, inspector of Vidyaranyapura police station, V R Deepak, sub-inspector, BMTF, and Hanumeshi, constable at NT Pet station.  On September 29, KSHRC acting chairperson Meera C Saxena also directed the DG&IGP to take disciplinary action against his men and report the action taken over the issue to the commission within three months. 

Owais Sabir Hussain, 26, from New BEL Road, was harassed after the police barged into his house in February 2013, by breaking open the door. They beat, abused and arrested him for a theft in Halasur police station limits. Hussain, in the complaint, stated he and his family had collected some evidence about the ‘nefarious activities’ of some policemen. The police raid was an act of “retribution.”

After the arrest, Hussain was produced before the magistrate, where he complained about the ill-treatment meted out to him by the CCB in police custody. The magistrate directed the police to take him to Jayadeva Hospital, from where he was referred to a multi-speciality hospital, but was taken to Victoria Hospital. He was sent to jail and the judge later directed the jail authorities to take him to Manipal Hospital, where he was diagnosed with having suffered grievous injuries. 

The KSHRC stated that Hussain was arrested for theft, but the police couldn’t establish his involvement.

“The police have exceeded their official powers in detaining and harassing the youth, the detention becomes illegal and the police are answerable,” the order states. Instead of questioning the suspects in the theft, the police arrested a person not involved in the crime.

“This shows the negligent attitude of the police to link a person with a crime even though he was not involved, as per their whims and fancies. This is dangerous as it gives power to the law enforcement agency to detain anyone and file false cases to intimidate anybody. The commission recommended punitive and disciplinary action against the officers as per section 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993,” the order states.

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