A jeweller allegedly tried to kill himself by consuming an insecticide after police officers stormed into his store in western Bengaluru to question him for buying stolen ornaments.
Police arrested four people over a burglary case on December 23. One of them, Ajay, 21, a resident of Vijayanagar, allegedly told the police about having pawned the burgled ornaments with jewellers in Magadi Road, Kamakshipalya, Dasarahalli.
A police team consisting of Whitefield police sub-inspector Nagappa, head constable Rajagopal G and constable Jnanadev gave notices to pawnbrokers, asking them to appear for investigation in the afternoon.
Around 4 pm, the team visited the Kanhaiya Lal Bherulal Joshi pawn shop on Magadi Main Road and handed over the notice to its owner Ravi Joshi. He, however, refused to receive the notice and asserted that he cannot be incriminated in the case because he accepts jewellery up to 20 grams. Police didn't buy his theory and insisted to serve the notice.
Joshi suddenly disappeared into the shop, returned with a bottle of insecticide and sprayed it into his mouth. Police officers quickly snatched it from him. But he managed to gulp down the insecticide with a small bottle. In the process, some drops of the liquid fell on a constable's hand. He sustained burns.
Police rushed him to a hospital in an auto-rickshaw. His parents later visited the hospital along with about 15 other people and alleged that Joshi consumed the insecticide due to police harassment.
Rajagopal later filed a complaint with Magadi Road police. Consequently, Joshi and his parents were booked for attempting suicide and criminal force to deter public servants from discharging duties. Police are waiting for Joshi's recovery to initiate legal action against him.
Following allegations of harassment to jewellers, the state police chief had issued guidelines, mandating that cops issue notices before starting the recovery process. The recovery has to be filmed and the policemen must be in uniform. The top brass must be informed about the recovery and the raid.
M N Anucheth, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Whitefield, insisted that they followed all the procedures and that the police had only gone to the pawnshop to issue the notice. "We received information that he buys stolen jewellery. If every suspect behaves like this, the investigation would become difficult," he said.