The incident, which took place in the early hours of Tuesday, came to light only after a video shot by one of the teenagers went viral on social media. (Representative photo - Source photo: PTI )
A casual night walk to have tea in Bengaluru city took an ugly turn for three students from Kerala after they were picked up by police from outside their flat and allegedly thrashed inside a nearby police station.
The incident, which took place in the early hours of Tuesday, came to light only after a video shot by one of the teenagers went viral on social media. Read in Malayalam
Narrating the incident, 18-year-old Ansal (name changed) alleged that the cops repeatedly asked whether the group was from Pakistan as soon as they identified their names.
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Yet another case of police brutality took place against students in Bengaluru on 14th January 2020.
Police from SG Palya area physically and verbally abused three students. The students were called Pakistanis on account that they were Muslim. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/I2Vh80tS1V
— CAA / NRC Protest Info. (@NrcProtest) January 14, 2020
"At first, two cops who were on night patrol in a Hoysala vehicle approached us to question where we were heading to at around 1 am and asked our names. As soon as we replied, one of them began questioning us if we were from Pakistan. Even though we showed them our Aadhaar cards to prove our identity, this continued and cops called in four more of their colleagues who came in another patrolling vehicle and two bikes. The cops who came with lathis then forced us into the patrol car after which we were taken to SG Palaya police station," the student from a private college claimed.
However, as the conversation between the parties became louder, the teenager's brother, who is a working professional, and his friends, rushed downstairs from the flat to enquire what the issue was.
"The cops kept saying that a few terrorists were picked up from the area recently and demanded our phones for a search. When I questioned the action seeking a warrant notice for the same, the cop forced to take us too to the police station," Ansal's brother said.
According to the youngster, the video that was shared widely on social media was shot by his friend. The footage shows a policeman angrily asking the student to stop recording while the person on the video is heard saying repeatedly "It is a public place, sir. I can record."
The title of the video that has been uploaded on Twitter reads, "Police brutality in Bengaluru. Students were called Pakistanis, forcefully picked up and beaten up brutally in the lockup."
Later, at around 1.30 am, the students were taken to a police station where they were allegedly beaten up using lathis. "Even though the cops behaved well with us initially after reaching the station, a policeman entered the room with a lathi and surprisingly started beating us. The same continued till 3.30 am until my local guardian turned up there," Ansal added.
Ansal's friend, another teenager from a different private college in the city, said, "We were brutally hit with lathis on the head, hip, back, and private parts. However, the cop ensured that none of us were bleeding. Later, we were asked to sign an undertaking which mentioned we would not step out late at night henceforth, and if found by cops, action would be initiated."
The students further alleged that a case was filed against them for "creating public nuisance", and each person was fined Rs 500 each. "We were also asked to sign a document in Kannada which the police said was signed by persons riding without a helmet. All these acts are totally strange and unacceptable," the youngster said.
A day later, as the incident garnered public traction online, DCP (Whitefield) MN Anuchet, who is temporarily overseeing the South-East division, ordered an inquiry. "After learning about the incident online, I have sought a report on the incident from ACP (Mico Layout) after a thorough inquiry," he said.
Meanwhile, when contacted, SG Palaya police denied allegations of either thrashing them or calling them "Pakistanis". A police officer said, "The students denied producing the ID even though the beat police demanded the same. They were picked up due to this but were never abused verbally or physically."