Police cane PFI activists trying to besiege top cop's office

The police resorted to lathi charge of PFI activists who had attempted to lay siege to the police commissioner’s office on Tuesday, protesting against the alleged police atrocity on a recently arrested youth.

Eleven police personnel, including ACPs Shruthi and Uday Nayak and one inspector, were injured in the stone pelting and manhandling by PFI activists. One PFI activist was injured during lathi charge.

Over 500 activists gathered at 10.30 am in front of the police commissioner’s office, protesting against the reported police atrocity against Ahmed Qureshi, of Katipalla, who was arrested on March 27, in connection with the murder of Prakash Poojary by Surathkal police. They accused the CCB police of illegally arresting Qureshi in the name of investigation and assaulting him. They demanded an investigation into the entire incident and the suspension of the police officers. They claimed that Qureshi is critical and urged disburse compensation to the victim.

As the activists had not taken permission to protest, the police asked them to vacate. However, when the activists blocked the traffic, tried to lay siege to the police commissioner’s office and pelted stones at the government buildings, the police resorted to lathi charge, said DCP (Law and Order) K M Shantharaju.

When ACPs, Inspector and other constables were injured, we had to resort to force to disperse the crowd, said Police Commissioner M Chandra Sekhar.

Disputing the claim of the PFI, DCP (Crime and Traffic) Dr Sanjeev M Patil shared Qureshi’s statement before the JMFC II Court Judge Santhosh S Kunder that he was not ill-treated by police and the seven injuries on his body were sustained in a road traffic accident on March 25. The arrest of Qureshi was also informed to his brother Nishad over phone. The judge in his order sheet said that the Qureshi was hale and healthy. Even the medical officer at Wenlock Hospital has declared that there was no radiological abnormality detected during the medical examination of the arrested.

The police detained and registered three cases against all the 98 activists under IPC Sections 143 (Unlawful assembly), 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 341 (Wrongful restraint), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object). Seventy-two persons were charged under IPC Section 502 (Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter).

Following the incident, the police have tightened security in the city.

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