A senior print journalist from Kerala's Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district, was allegedly beaten up by the local police on Sunday night.
49-year-old Sajeev Gopalan, who works with Kerala Kaumudi was allegedly beaten up inside his house by the Varkala police.
According to Sajeev's family, he had recently published a report on the abduction of two women from Idava, exposing the Varkala police who filed a report in favour of the accused men.
Sajeev's wife Deepa told TNM that the police threatened him and questioned him about this particular news report, while beating him up.
According to Deepa, the incident happened at around 9.45 pm, when Sajeev got out of his house to see off guests who had dropped in for dinner.
"Our house is on the road side and he had gone to see them off. There are no streetlights on that road and two policemen who came on a bike questioned him. When he said he was a journalist, the cops started beating him up. He quickly ran inside the house and the police chased after him. Once inside the house, one of the cops stripped off his mundu and the other cop started to videograph him. I intervened and asked the cop to stop recording and pleaded to them to let my husband go. In fact, they all know us, my husband is a local journalist. Soon, a police jeep came to the spot in which the SI was also there," Deepa said.
She alleged that Sajeev was beaten up brutally in front of their 14-year-old daughter. It was only after their daughter began to cry, that the police left the house, Deepa said.
Sajeev, who sustained injuries on his neck, hand and eye is undergoing treatment at SN Medical Trust in Varkala.
According to the family, the police has detained Deepa's relative Ramjith.
"The police know that it will blow up into a major controversy if a journalist is beaten up and they purposefully detained my relative, who tried to stop the cops from beating up Sajeev. The police is using him as a bait, trying to force us to withdraw our complaint," Deepa said.
Sajeev filed a complaint with the Circle Inspector and Kerala Kaumudi office filed a complaint with the DGP, following which a team led by Attingal ACP has initiated inquiry in the case.
They recorded Sajeev's statement on Monday.
The Varkala police, however, have denied that they physically assaulted Sajeev. Varkala Sub-Inspector KR Biju told TNM that the allegations of brutal assault by the cops were false.
SI Biju said that the two policemen on patrolling duty had caught Sajeev and four others drinking on the road next to his house at night.
"On seeing the cops, two of them fled and they threw off the bottles. When they questioned Sajeev, he told the police that he was a journalist and that the police must behave themselves. The two policemen then tried to take them to the police station in their bike, but then intimated me and I reached the spot. Rest of the men fled and we could only arrest Ramjith. When we tried to take away Sajeev, his wife created a scene. Since we didn't have women police officers in the team, we didn't forcefully arrest Sajeev then," the SI said.
Asked about the allegations of attack, the SI said that it was Sajeev who manhandled the cops.
"He tore off one of the policeman's shirt and created a scene. He was in an inebriated state. We have video footage to prove this," the SI said.
He also denied the family's version that the police acted in vengeance because of Sajeev's recent news report.
The Varkala police has filed a case against three persons - Sajeev, Ramjith and a person called Antony - under Sections 332 and 34 of IPC.