“The police thought that even the caregivers at the hospital were part of protesters and started lathi charging everyone,” a source told TNM.

CCTV footage shows Mangaluru cops barging into a hospital use tear gas shells
news Protest Friday, December 20, 2019 - 09:56

CCTV footage from 6.56 pm on Thursday from the Highland Hospital in Mangaluru shows two Karnataka police personnel rushing through a corridor and trying to open a door in a ward by kicking it down. Initially, the policemen successfully open the door and go inside, when the people inside push them out. Within seconds, more police personnel join them and try to break open the door using lathis, shields and by kicking at it.

In another video, around the same time, the police can be seen charging at people in the hospital’s lobby, where the waiting area is located. A few people can be seen wearing masks, some covering their noses and running into the Intensive Care Unit and closing the door before the police can get to them. This, hospital sources say, happened after the police threw tear gas shells into the hospital.

A third CCTV footage shows a few protesters pelting stones at police and running inside the hospital. A crowd gathered there too rushes in with them.

The Mangaluru Police Commissioner's office told TNM that it was just a minor incident and police had to lathi charge to disperse protesters. An officer at the local police staion will investigate into the incident.

What happened at the hospital

A source in Highland Hospital told TNM that two persons – Jaleel Kudroli (49) and Nausheen Bengre (23) – were brought into the hospital around 5 pm on Thursday with injuries. The attenders at the hospital allegedly did not realise that they were dead and called for senior doctors to examine the injuries.

“Both of them had bullet injuries. One had the bullet injury on his head, near his eye. A bullet had made a clean break via the stomach of the other patient. Both were declared dead and the police was informed as it was a medico-legal case,” the source said.

In the meantime, a small crowd had started gathering at the hospital as news spread that the two men had died. When police personnel reached the hospital, a few patients and attenders too went out to see what was happening. “There was a confrontation between police and protesters, both sides started throwing stones. But the police thought that even the caregivers at the hospital were part of protesters and started lathi charging everyone. They used two tear gas shells. One at the parking area and another at the entrance lobby.”

“The stones hit two cars belonging to hospital doctors and one window was shattered. Then the police barged into the lobby, and started banging on the doors of hospital wards. There were around 60 inpatients, their caregivers and relatives were also there. Police mistook them for protesters,” the hospital source said. Other then the two men brought dead, a third person with bullet injuries is also at the hospital; he remains critical.

The police personnel then reached the lobby near the ICU where several people who had brought Jaleel and Nausheen were waiting in the lobby.

Hospital sources say that the police then threw tear gas shells in the lobby and people began grabbing masks at the counter and running away. “The people got scared and they ran inside the ICU and closed the door. The police kept banging on the ICU door, it has been damaged too,” the source added.

The police then tried to open the rooms in one of the wards, as a few people had rushed inside and locked themselves in. The police were allegedly in the hospital for close to 45 minutes and left the premises later when doctors assured them that the people who had come out on the roads outside the hospital were relatives of patients who were curious about the ruckus and all were not protesters. The hospital administration was alarmed at the behavior and began telling the police to leave.

When police allegedly refused to take away the bodies

Speaking to TNM, a police source said that they were reluctant to take the bodies from the hospital. This was confirmed by a source in the hospital. “The police just told us to keep the bodies with us. We had to persuade them saying that it’s a medico-legal case and we cannot keep the bodies here longer as we did not have a mortuary,” the source said.

Finally, after negotiations with the police and heads of the Muslim community in the area, the police agreed to shift the bodies to Wenlock Hospital and allow the family members of the deceased persons to stand guard at the mortuary.

“The relatives of the deceased were convinced that the police would hurriedly conduct an autopsy and cover up the bullet injuries. They wanted them to be kept in a mortuary in a private hospital. Finally after negotiations, all parties agreed to the deal and the bodies were shifted to Wenlock around 8 pm,” the source said.

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