Just post midnight on April 10, Mohammed Tanveer and his friend Danish stepped out to buy medicines for Tanveer’s father. Today, twelve days later, Tanveer is battling for life in hospital after being brutally assaulted by policemen.
When Tanveer and Danish were on the bike to go to the pharmacy, Tanveer’s mother called him, asking him to buy some more medicines. As he picked up the call while driving, he was stopped by a police constable. “The police saw him talking over the phone and caught him,” Tanveer’s brother Musaveer told TNM, “The constable, Ayyappa, told Tanveer to cut the call when my mother was telling him the name of the pill he was supposed to buy. Tanveer took a few seconds longer to cut the call and Ayyappa got angry.”
When Tanveer was hanging up the phone call, constable Ayyappa beat Tanveer with his lathi. The force of the blow was so strong that the lathi allegedly broke in half. Angered by the treatment doled out to him, Tanveer questioned Ayyappa as to why he was being subjected to violence.
“My brother told Ayyappa to impose a fine on him and take away his bike but beating him was not the right thing to do. That’s when Ayyappa called the Hoysala and forced Tanveer and Danish to get in. Sub Inspector Santosh was also inside the Hoysala. Tanveer was pushed into the back seat. There was another constable sitting at the back, who beat him on his legs continuously till they reached the station,” Musaveer said.
Constable Ayyappa allegedly dragged Tanveer out of the car and into the police station whilst beating him. Tanveer was beaten up continuously from 1 am to 8 am on April 10 by eight constables. Musaveer said that the constables took turns to beat him up. Around 8 am, Ayyappa allegedly tore Tanveer’s pants and pulled them down.
“Throughout the night they beat him. They broke four lathis and one iron rod was damaged while they beat him with it. Ayyappa banged my brother’s head to the metal rods of the jail door multiple times and spat on him. He called the other constables and made him spit on my brother while my father watched,” Musaveer alleged.
Around 9 am, the Inspector of DJ Halli Station Keshava Murthy arrived and Tanveer’s father approached him. The constables then got Tanveer and Danish out, and made them do 100 squats in front of Keshava Murthy.
“My father kept begging them to let Tanveer go. They did not assault Danish as much because he had not spoken a word since they got caught. Finally, one of the SIs, Nayaz, made both of them write ‘I will never talk back to the police’ 1000 times. By the time they finished it was 5 pm. That’s when my father finally got them home,” Musaveer said.
Two days after the incident, Tanveer could not get up from his bed and on April 12, his mother noticed that his urine was red in colour. They rushed him to Bombay Clinic located near Kaval Byrasandra when the doctors told them that his kidneys had been damaged.
Tanveer was then shifted to Shifaa Hospital on Queens Road on April 17, where the doctors informed the family that his condition is critical. “They told us that he has to undergo dialysis. Tests showed that Tanveer’s blood creatinine levels had increased drastically and he has been battling for his life since April 18. Doctors said that if his creatinine levels do not decrease soon, he may not survive,” Musaveer said.
Speaking to TNM, ACP Seemanth Kumar Singh said that the police had visited the hospital on Sunday to take down Tanveer’s statement. The ACP confirmed said, “Preliminary investigation suggests it was a case of police brutality.”
Ayyappa and SI Santosh have been suspended pending inquiry and an FIR has been registered against them and seven unidentified police officers. “Once Tanveer is able to wake up and identify the others, their names will be added to the FIR too,” ACP Seemanth Kumar Singh said.
The FIR has been registered under sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC.
Musaveer says that the police have not taken his complaint seriously and have not added attempted murder to the FIR since his brother’s life is at stake.
Speaking to TNM, Congress candidate for Bengaluru Central segment Rizwan Arshad said that he would talk to the Police Commissioner and ask him to take stringent action against the police officers involved in the incident.
“I will ask them to add attempted murder to the FIR. This is abominable and police officials cannot resort to such brutality,” he added.
This is not the first case of alleged police brutality reported this year. On January 24, a 21-year-old undertrial prisoner, who was lodged at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru, died in Victoria Hospital. An autopsy was performed, which concluded the cause of death as assault. The victim Fairoz allegedly told his brother Tabraiz and the doctors at Victoria that the police at Parappana Agrahara Central Prison had beaten him mercilessly and had refused him proper treatment. They had allegedly kept him in the isolation cell at the prison for three days after beating him up, due to which his condition deteriorated.