In a video that has now gone viral, a Kerala policeman is seen holding a Dalit activist by his collar and shouting at him.
The video, which surfaced on Friday, shows Pothencode SI Aswini Kumar hauling a Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) activist by his collar and questioning him as to where he lives and where his ID card is.
The other officers surrounding the SI can also be seen shouting at the activist. The situation continues to heat up, and the police get into a fight with the crowd. One person is even pushed to the floor.
The incident occurred at Kuruvalla Colony, where a group of people had gathered to celebrate the birthday of one of the members.
Condemning the incident in a Facebook post, DHRM said, â€śThough it is well within the rights of police officials to probe into anti-social elements and activities, the method adopted has to be scientific. It is highly condemnable that the police officials were caught on camera treating the activists like criminalsâ€ť.
â€śIf the activists indulged in wrongdoing, then they have to be punished. But such brash behaviour from the police is not acceptableâ€ť, DHRM added.
The police, however, say they went to the spot because they received a phone call and that the matter has been resolved.
â€śThe officers had gone there on the basis of a phone call which alerted of some suspicious activities in the locality. The matter has been resolved now, though we have asked some of the activists to submit their ID cards,â€ť said Pothencode CI S Shaji.
â€śWe received information that outsiders in the colony, along with DHRM activists, carry out secret training camps for children at night. We had gone to look into the matter. When people were asked to submit ID cards, it escalated into an argument,â€ť Aswini Kumar told Vismaya.
The police have registered a case in the incident.
The police had reportedly gone there as directed by the Child Rights Commission to inquire about a complaint, but Child Rights Commission Chairperson Shobha Koshy told Deccan Chronicle that the complaint was lodged months ago.
â€śIt was a few months ago. There was no recent follow-up,â€ť said Commission member MP Antoni, who handled the case then.