In a shocking allegation of police brutality, a 22-year-old man from Chennai has alleged that a traffic police officer beat him up for not producing his original vehicle registration certificate(RC).
In a post on Facebook, Haroon Sait alleged that he, along with two of his friends, were returning from a wedding on their bikes when they were stopped on Spurtank Road. The police allegedly demanded to see his friend's license. His friend was not carrying it and was asked to pay Rs 300. However, Haroon claims that they were not given a receipt for it.
Haroon goes on to allege that Sub Inspector Ilayaraja then demanded to see his license and RC book. The latter, he says, was a photocopy. When Haroon offered to bring the original in the morning, leaving his bike behind in the police station, he alleges that the SI beat him up.
While it is mandatory for drivers to carry their original license as per the Tamil Nadu government's orders from September 1, 2017, the same is not the case with the RC book.
Haroon wrote, “I gave him my scooter key and told him to take my scooter to the police station, on the condition that he gives me a receipt in reference to taking my scooter. I told him that I would come with the original documents in the morning and take back my scooter. This enfuriated him and he slapped me so hard that my spectacles flew on the ground, and he starting whacking me with a beat stick (lathi) continuously. I cried out in pain and fear to the five constables who were with him to stop him but they stood idle as mute spectators to this entire event. This made him more angry and he kept swinging the wooden stick till I apologized to him around 10 times and he finally stopped. By this time, my left wrist had severely swollen and I took out my phone to call my parents and inform them of the situation. He snatched my phone on the excuse of taking me to the police station for medical aid and he told me that I as not allowed to call anyone. He also snatched the mobile phones of my two friends, so that they would not call anyone either." (sic)
Speaking to TNM, a police officer from the Chetpet police station said, “There was some problem during the vehicle check-up. When he came, we did the proper check like we usually do. He didn’t have the original, he only had the photocopy. The name in the photocopy was different from what he told us. They spoke rudely and got into a heated argument. In anger, the police officer hit him once.”
However, photographs from Haroon’s hospitalisation put up by him on Facebook show deep scars on the knee, wrist and arm. He is pursuing a case against the concerned police officer.