'Police told us to drink urine'

'Police told us to drink urine'

'Police told us to drink urine'

“We said we want water. The police hit us and asked us to drink urine,” cried Basamma Navalgund, 80, of Yamanur village in Navalgund taluk of Dharwad district on Saturday.

She was recounting the police excesses on farmers of the village through Friday evening and night for protesting the Mahadayi injustice.

Sabina Begum, another victim, said policemen knocked on her door, barged in, ransacked the house and dragged away her three teenaged sons who were having dinner.

She charged that the police mercilessly beat her sons with lathis.

By Saturday morning, the village was deserted with all men going into hiding, fearing the return of the police.

Rama Kulkarni, mother of another 16-year-old, said the police nabbed her son who was on his way home from their field. A pregnant woman, Shilpa Jalikatti, was also beaten up by the police.

Even old men and women were not spared and some who suffered injuries were taken to the government hospital at Navalgund, the villagers said. Srishailappa Morab, a 70-year-old man from Yamanur, under treatment at Dharwad Civil Hospital for a broken hand, said the police barged into his house, beat up everybody and broke his hand.

Like Yamanur, other villages like Hebasur, Alagwadi, Arekuratti also saw police excesses. And all this happened while ADGP Bhaskar Rao, IGP (Northern Range) Ramachandra Rao, and Dharwad Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Kumar Meena were camping in Navalgund as  violence broke out there on Tursday as part of the Mahadayi stir.

According to eyewitnesses, such was the brutality of the police at Navalgund on Thursday that those who were taken into custody were sent in a line one-by-one and then thrashed with lathies.

As the television channels started airing these visuals on Saturday, the police got the cable network disconnected in the district.

However, District In-charge Minister Vinay Kulkarni stated there were no police excesses at Yamanur. Even some policemen were injured.

Home Minister G Parameshwar has sought a report on the incidents, it is said.