Thiruvananthapuram: The opposition United Democratic Front stormed out of the Kerala Assembly on Monday after permission for adjournment was denied post a heated discussion on recent episodes of “police excesses”.
Former home minister and Congress MLA Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had mentioned six incidents of alleged police brutality while dealing with the public in the last few weeks. He said that the police have been left uncontrolled under the Left government.
The discussion was prompted by an incident in Thrissur district, where cops manhandled a youngster, tore his t-shirt and tried to push him into their jeep. His fault? He had asked that a policeman be stationed at a busy junction as it was an accident hotspot. The entire incident was caught on camera and the cops had to face a lot of flak. The video also showed that the locals had gotten agitated and opposed the police’s thuggery.
Last week, an elderly person in Malappuram alleged that he was punched on the nose by a cop for not giving way to a VVIP vehicle. He said that he had pulled his car to the left and the Governor’s and the pilot vehicles had passed unhindered. But an ASI following them came up to him later and attacked without provocation.
In Alappuzha earlier this month, two people had died in a road accident when the police stopped a motorcycle for checking on a highway, using their patrolling vehicle. But as the checking was underway, another motorcyclist riding with his family rammed into the first bike, who was stopped by the police in a wrong location on the highway.
Addressing the issue in the Assembly, law minister AK Balan admitted that certain instances have taken place. "There have been specific instances of police excesses but that cannot be generalised across the force. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty... The law and order is in safe hands in the state," he said.
But the reply failed to assuage the opposition camp. “The situation is really bad and police high-handedness is increasing. Proper action is not taken against officers who are resorting to such high-handedness. Even after repeated circulars from the DGP the situation is not changing," said Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.