Days after three police officials in Tamil Nadu were suspended for allegedly assaulting a man with disabilities, a video of the man narrating the incident has been widely shared on social media.
The man, 29-year-old Shankar of Kavarapatti village, was subject to police excesses for complaining about liquor being sold near a school in Viralimalai Pudukottai district, and three officers were suspended on 17 March in connection with the incident.
In a video taken of him at the hospital, Shankar, who has a visual impairment, is heard saying that he was taken to the Viralimalai police station premises at around 9 am, and beaten up near a tree using some kind of a log for several hours.
“I am completely blind. Based on what I heard, one woman and three men beat me up. I informed 100 (control room) that people are selling illegal liquor near a school, and they connected me to Pudukottai police and from there they connected me to Viralimalai police station. Viralimalai police called me and enquired the details. I did not give my real name as I feared a backlash. However, even then, I was beaten up. They (police) asked me who am I to complain about selling liquor. ‘If you want to sell liquor, do it,’ they told me”Shankar
He continued saying that four policemen beat him up.
“I don’t know what they used to beat me with, but I understand they used a big log, they held my hands around the tree and beat me up.”Shankar
Shankar said that he spoke to a woman police personnel first who ignored him and asked if “he doesn’t have any other job to do”. Shankar added that he tried to reason with her but then dropped it. He also claimed that he was informed by school children that other children were being coerced to sell liquor illegally in the area.
Shankar had reportedly made a call to the control room on 15 March claiming that liquor was being sold near a school in Kavarapatti, which was then conveyed to the Viralimalai police station. He reportedly runs an electrical shop near the government school.
Assaulters Suspended, Investigation Underway
According to a report in The Hindu, a woman constable then contacted the phone number to make an inquiry about the claim when she was allegedly verbally abused by the person who picked up the call. The person who picked up the call was apparently under the influence of alcohol. The constable then disconnected the call and complained about the incident to her superior officer.
The Viralimalai police reportedly traced the location of the caller and picked up Shankar, and brought him to the station on Wednesday for inquiry. However, as Shankar claimed he did not know about the incident, an argument ensued between them, which led to the three constables allegedly assaulting Shankar.
When TNM contacted Pudukottai Superintendent of Police Nisha Parthiban, she said that the matter was under investigation in the department. The inquiry is being carried out by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Viralimalai subdivision. Meanwhile, Trichy DIG Saravana Sundar said that the trio has been placed under suspension.
The three accused police officials were subsequently booked and charged with wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt under Indian Penal Code and intentionally injuring a person with disability under sections of Rights of Persons with Disability Act.
(The article was originally published in The News Minute and has been reposted with permission.)