After Bengaluru-based techie Ashok Koyi alleged that Halasurugate Police Station booked him under stringent sections for taking part in anti-CAA protests, City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has asked for the DCP to review the sections.
Ashok was part of the protest which was held on December 30, 2019, at Mysore Bank Circle in Bengaluru, and was asked by a policeman to come to the Halasurugate Police Station. While he was part of a large group of protesters, he was isolated as he was looking for others to join him in protest to march to the detention centre in Nelamangala. Following this, he was booked under stringent sections.
On Thursday, a note signed by the Commissioner, which was given to Ashok, lists the sections under which Ashok has been booked, and asks DCP Central Chetan Singh Rathore to review the sections. The note asks if Ashokâ€™s actions warrant such â€śheinous sectionsâ€ť and Ashok is to produce the same to DCP Rathore.
Ashok has been booked under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 179 (refusing to answer public servant authorised to question), 505 B (making statement intended to cause fear, or alarm the public) of the Indian Penal Code. He was granted interim bail on the same day as he had to appear for a law exam, a degree which he is pursuing alongside his fulltime job.
Speaking to TNM, the DCP said, â€śHe (Ashok) is yet to approach me with the petition. We will go through it and verify what direction the Commissioner has given. Then, we will take action as per law and rules.â€ť
Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao earlier reacted to the incident on Twitter after it was pointed out that Ashokâ€™s mother and sister were asked by Halasurugate Police Station to report to the police station for questioning. A formal note addressing his sister was also handed over by the police at his residence.
Which Police Station and who called, matter will be taken seriously....â€” Bhaskar Rao IPS (@deepolice12) January 1, 2020
Speaking to TNM, Ashok said, "First, the police deceived me by telling they will just talk to me in the station. They seized my belongings & one senior official threatened to book me under sections of the anti-terror law as I was not furnishing my address. He said that will teach me a lesson for the next 50 years of my life."
However, Ashok said that he was not aware that the ongoing conversation was an official inquiry and said the police did not inform him that he will be charged if he failed to furnish his address..
â€ś...they had led me to the police station under false pretences that there is nothing to worry. After I was initially refusing to answer, they took my driving licence and reached my old address. By then I shared my current and permanent address as I did not want this to be a flash point & wanted to move on based on the advice of lawyer. From there, they got my sisterâ€™s number and called her. After filing multiple cooked-up charges, they sent notice to my sister to attend an inquiry in police station. Why would they harass my family when they know that they have no involvement in the protests.â€ť
Police have seized his bike, mobile phone, driving license and hall ticket.
He added, â€śThis is just another way of harassing me. Instead of giving me a hall ticket, they wrote a letter and sent a policeman alongside me to paint me as some kind of a criminal in front of other students. Now without the bike, I have to spend a lot of money on commuting. I donâ€™t have a spare phone, so I have to depend on the help of others to even contact somebody.â€ť
â€śWhile the charge of not providing the information is a bit grey, the other two charges of assaulting a police officer and the other one are completely cooked up,â€ť he said.
His case will be heard again by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in the second week of February..