In another incident of police excess in Kerala, a police official was seen thrashing a passenger inside a sleeper compartment of the Maveli Express, near Kannur. Videos of the incident, which occured on Sunday night, January 2, have been widely shared on social media. The officer has been identified as Assistant Sub Inspector (SI) Pramod.
The incident reportedly occurred when, upon questioning, the passenger told the SI that he had a ticket for a seat in the general compartment and not in the sleeper coach, after which Pramod is seen slapping him. Visuals show Pramod continuing to hit and kick the man, even as he lay on the floor of the train. When co-passengers objected to this, the police official continued beating the passenger, who according to the others, did not create any nuisance to attract such a punishment. After throwing out the passenger from the cabin, Pramod tried to justify his act by claiming that if the man had not been beaten up and thrown out of the compartment, the safety of other passengers would be “compromised”.
Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission has directed a probe into the incident and told the City Police Commissioner in Kannur to file a report in a week. In an order issued late on Monday, SI Pramod was suspended, pending a departmental enquiry.
Reacting to the viral video of police brutality, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan alleged that the ‘police has gone out of hand’ under the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
"The police have no right to take out violence on the people. If there is a violation of law, action can be taken, but not in the manner of kicking out a passenger who boarded a reservation compartment. The bearings of the police appear to have gone out of order," said Satheesan, who added that whenever incidents like these happen, the stock statements of Minister's and CPI-M leaders is that this was just a one-off instance.
Two days ago, a Swedish national who runs a home stay at the famed tourist destination of Kovalam, also faced police excessives on New year’s Eve. The man, Stefan Asberg, was stopped while he was on his way back after buying a few bottles of liquor, and police found that he did not have a bill of purchase. Though he was able to produce the same to the police later, he was made to pour out the two bottles of liquor.
(With IANS inputs)