The Vizhinjam police in Thiruvananthapuram arrested the auto driver, Suresh, on Sunday.

Kerala man caught on cam demanding Aadhaar from migrant labourer and slapping him
news Crime Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 16:17

“Where are you from? Show me your Aadhaar card… Call the police,” an auto rickshaw driver can be heard bellowing out the order to a man, who was later identified as a 25-year-old migrant labourer from West Bengal. Even as the migrant labourer yells back saying, "You want my ID card?" in Malayalam accent and is searching his wallet, the auto driver slaps him across the face.

This incident, which was caught on camera, took place at Mukkola in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala on Saturday night. The video of the incident, which was captured by a man at the spot, is being widely shared on social media.

According to eyewitnesses and police officials, the auto driver, who has been identified as Suresh, attacked the West Bengal native Goutam Mandal who was coming out of a shop after re-charging his mobile.

At the beginning of the video, the auto driver can be seen indignantly approaching the migrant worker, who is standing on the street, asking him to show his ‘id card’. As the migrant worker retorts in Malayalam, the auto driver is seen walking towards his auto rickshaw parked in the auto stand. He then pulls out his wallet from the vehicle and walks back towards Goutam with his id card in hand.

The migrant worker then calls Suresh to the side of the road, where the person capturing the video was standing. “Do you want to see my id card?” asks Goutam while opening his wallet.

A visibly miffed Suresh then slaps him with force across the face. “Who are you? Where are you from? Show your Aadhar card,” Suresh is seen further questioning him while showing his own Aadhaar card and another id card to Goutam.

In the force of the blow, Goutam is pulled back.

When he once again tries to tell Suresh that he has a “labour id card”, the latter keeps demanding his Aadhaar card. Even before Goutam could pull out his id card from the wallet, Suresh slaps him again on the face with force. He even asks the man with the phone to “capture everything”.

Goutam, who is visibly confused, keeps looking at Suresh. Finally, when the man gives the identity card, the auto driver walks away with it, saying, “You take it back from the police station.”

Though a few other men, including some auto drivers, present at the spot, nobody could be seen coming forward to intervene.

After the incident went viral on social media, the Vizhinjam police in the district identified the auto driver as Suresh, a resident in the area.

On Sunday, Vizhinjam police arrested Suresh under sections 294 (b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

Speaking to TNM, Sherief George, one of the witnesses, said that Suresh started intimidating and attacking Goutam allegedly without any provocation. According to Sherief, just a few minutes prior to this incident, Suresh had entered into an argument with another person, whose two-wheeler allegedly clashed with his auto rickshaw.

“It was just after this that Goutam came from across the road. As Suresh was reversing his auto rickshaw, he hit Goutam,” Sherief alleged.

“Though Goutam did not retort immediately, Suresh started intimidating him. Everything you see in the video happened right after that,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Kerala police released a video with the auto driver in custody.

 

 

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