The police official had publicly accused the child and her father of stealing her mobile phone, which was later found ringing inside her car.

A man and his little daughter are standing near a pink police patrol car as a woman police official face them, and an onlooker watches from awayCourtesy - IANS
news Protest Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 12:30

The family of an eight-year-old child who was publicly harassed by a woman police official in Thiruvananthapuram held a day-long protest on Saturday, September 25, in front of the secretariat, against inaction against the cop. The police official, who belongs to the state’s ‘pink police’ patrol unit, was transferred after she was caught on camera harassing the child and her father, accusing them of theft and subjecting them to an examination.

The official had accused the child – a girl – and her father of robbing her mobile phone, which was later found inside the official’s vehicle, after a passerby offered to ring the number to locate it. The incident had occurred on August 27, when 38-year-old Jayachandran and his daughter were out on a road near Attingal to watch the movement of a huge trailer carrying equipment to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) nearby.

When Rejitha, the woman officer whose patrol car was parked nearby, found her phone missing, she began accusing Jayachandran who was standing near the vehicle of stealing it. She then alleged that the daughter must have it. She publicly humiliated the father and the daughter and threatened to take both of them to the nearby police station. This was witnessed by a large crowd.

The entire incident was captured in a video by an onlooker. He shared it on social media and it went viral.

On August 31, Jayachandran approached State Police chief Anil Kant seeking action against Rejitha, as his daughter was in a state of shock for being publicly admonished. Promising action, Anil Kant asked South Zone IG Harshita Attaluri to conduct a probe, and Rejitha was subsequently transferred.

However, it was found later that Rejitha might have been transferred to a more convenient location for her, and reportedly, no action was taken against her. Speaking to the media in front of the Secretariat, Jayachandran said that although a probe by Anil Kant has been announced, not a single police official had met him to find out what happened.

"We have been waiting but nothing has happened. My daughter was completely shattered and it is with great difficulty that we are trying to make her feel normal, though she is not yet fully recovered," said Jayachandran.

His wife, Rekha who is leading the day-long fast, said: "What wrong did my husband and child do to suffer this? And see, even after committing this crime, the police woman is walking free. We want strict action to be taken against her and that's why we are here to stage the protest."

(With IANS inputs)