How cops gave into Belagere's demands while in custody

We are tactful and smart in handling such accused, says police

How cops gave into Belagere's demands while in custody

Ravi Belagere, editor of Kannada tabloid 'Hi Bangalore' managed to 'have his ways' with the police even as they were grilling him in connection with hiring a supari killer to eliminate one of his colleagues, Sunil Heggaravalli.

Belagere could smoke cigarettes, have home food, make phone calls and also meet members of his family whenever he wanted while in CCB custody, which a common man in police custody may not even think of.

Police sources claimed that Belagare was like a 'diseased chicken' in custody, and they were scared that something could happen to him if they denied him what he sought for and thus gave in to his demands.

A few others in the department have raised eyebrows over the special treatment given to the senior journalist by CCB sleuths.

"Our objective is to get information from him (Belagere) pertaining to the case, and not moral policing," said a senior police officer privy to investigation who said Belagere was given no special treatment.

Pertaining to home food, the police said, there is nothing illegal about it.

"Since he is a patient and is on medications, we allowed him food from home," the officer stated.

"On Sunday, when an aide from Belagere's house had brought him food, the journalist tried to make a phone call to Sunil Heggaravalli using the aide's phone. Our men, who were watching him, immediately snatched the phone before he could make a call to Sunil," the officer told DH.

Pertaining to cigarettes and coffee, the police clarified that an accused being in custody is not under 'punishment.' If the accused is an addict and shows anger outbursts, it is of no use for the police who will not get any information from him. We are tactful and smart in dealing with such accused," the officer added.

Withdrawal symptoms

Belagere is going through de-addiction as he is an alcoholic. He displayed severe withdrawal symptoms during the time of questioning by CCB sleuths.

There were angry outbursts and screaming by him demanding cigarettes. However, during interrogation, he was not allowed to smoke, another officer said.

While his aides and members of his family came to meet him, he could have had a couple of cigarettes from them, the officer added.

On Sunday, while he was being taken for a medical test in Victoria Hospital in a police jeep, he was very adamant that he required a cigarette that he put his one leg outside so that the door cannot be closed.

He had a few puffs after which a policeman snatched the cigarette from him and threw it away, the officer added.


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