The 28-year-old man from Thalassery was allegedly beaten by the police before he could show his permission letter from the police department.

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news Coronavirus Friday, March 27, 2020 - 07:35

On March 25, the first day of the all India lockdown in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a dialysis patient in Kannur’s Thalassery was lathi charged by the police, on his way back from the dialysis unit. 28-year-old Nishal was on a two-wheeler; he says he was beaten even before he could explain why he was on the road.

“I was returning from the dialysis unit, my two-wheeler was stopped by the police near Koduvalli. They asked me where I went. I said I was returning from the dialysis unit. They asked me to leave. Another policeman beat me on my hand. Before I could explain anything to him, I got beaten. I asked him not to beat me. Even before listening to me, he beat me again, on my back with his lathi. After that he asked where I went. I showed him the permission letter from the police station. I showed him the details of the dialysis center as well.” Nishal said. 

Nishal’s kidney injury is a result of leptospirosis.

When he complained about this at the Thalassery police station, the police asked him why he didn't take a taxi to go. “Since the dialysis is expensive I do not have the financial capacity to get a taxi to go,” Nishal said. He has been undergoing treatment for a year now, his kidney has been transplanted.

In his Facebook post, Nishal had written, “Honorable chief minister, majority of people in Kerala are cooperating with social distancing and lockdown. But the police action on people who go out for meeting urgent requirements without any enquiry must be rectified. I have a kidney disease, and I was beaten by Thalassery police brutally on my way back from dialysis.You must take action after examining my documents. Do not deter, but stay with us.”

Nishal filed his complaint to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Health Minister KK Shailaja, and Kannur district collector Subhash. He is yet to receive a response.
Kannur district collector Subhash said that he would look into the case. “I am uninformed of such an incident. To my knowledge, every genuine case is given passage,”said Thalassery Deputy Superintendent of Police Venugopal.

Reports of police atrocities and intimidation came to light following the announcement of a 21-day all-India lockdown. Cases of police intimidation of stranded migrant workers have also been reported. Journalists and doctors on their way to duty too were stopped and intimidated. 

A 35-year-old man who was attacked by the police while he was out to buy milk succumbed to his injuries. His is the first reported death due to police torture since the lockdown to spread the curb of coronavirus began. The number of coronavirus cases reported across India was 690 as of Thursday.