Cops assault designer, techie, taking them for pickpockets

Cops assault designer, techie, taking them for pickpockets
Two employees of reputed IT companies were mistaken for pickpockets and thrashed by the police on Monday, according to a complaint filed with the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission.

Kaja Mohideen (34), visual designer, and his friend Senthil Nathan (43), software engineer, volunteer to help students on weekends. "We teach engineering students at HSR Layout," Mohideen, who used to work as a lecturer at PES College, told DH.

On November 12, they went to Mangammanapalya, off Hosur Road, to collect a second-hand book they had bought on online marketplace OLX. The seller had refused to courier it.

It was about 11 am when Mohideen sought directions from a resident of the area. The man directed the friends in a particular direction.

Nathan went to the same man and asked how far they should go. This made the man suspicious. He grabbed Nathan, shouting that his wallet had been stolen. He told the crowd that the two had picked his pocket.

He created a scene, claiming he was the brother of a police officer. He also called the police.

At 11.30 am, the Bandepalya police arrived in a Hoysala patrol, bundled the two into the vehicle, and drove them to the police station.

At the station, the police checked their wallets, ID cards, and backpacks containing laptops and phones.

The policemen were not convinced about the friends' identity, and slapped and thrashed them.

"The ordeal continued for more than three hours. We are from respectable families and it was terribly humiliating," said Mohideen.

Finally, the policemen realised their mistake, Nathan said.

"When they concluded we were no pick-pockets, they made us sign an apology, and demanded Rs 1,000 and Rs 300 as penalty. They also slapped petty cases against us and pocketed Rs 400 as a bribe," Mohideen said.

A senior officer at the Bandepalya police said the incident had not come to his notice. "There is no entry in the station diary. Let me check," he told DH.

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