Tea outing trauma: Bengaluru Police ask Kerala youths are you from Pakistan, thrash 3 | Bengaluru News
While Ikram and his two friends left the flat at 1am for tea at a nearby stall, the teen’s elder brother, Saif (name changed) and two others stayed back as they were getting ready to hit the sack. All six are students of various city colleges and hail from Kerala.
Within a few minutes, Saif heard commotion downstairs and looked out of the balcony to see Ikram calling for help. Ikram and his friends had been stopped by two patrol police, who wanted to know what they were doing on the road so late and where they lived. Saif, 21, approached the policemen, wanting to know what the issue was. The cops asked them for their names and ID cards. On learning that Saif was a Muslim, one of them asked him if he was a Pakistani.
Though Saif was taken aback, he again asked what the problem was. The cops then asked the youngsters to give them their mobile phones. “Even as Ikram’s friend showed them his phone, the cops tried to snatch it. At that moment, I asked them if they have a warrant to check our personal belongings. My question appeared to tick off a cop, who immediately turned to me and said that if I needed a warrant, I should come to the police station,” said Saif, adding that they kept asking if they were Pakistanis. The youth said cops also told them that they had arrested a few terrorists recently. “I was perplexed as to why they needed to tell us all that,” he added.
One of Saif’s friends, meanwhile, began filming the incident on his phone and a policeman asked him to stop. A video clip shared with TOI shows the cop angrily asking the student to stop filming, while the person shooting the video is heard, saying: “Sir, it is a public place. I can record.”
Within minutes, the policeman called for four more cops – two in Hoysala and two in patrol bikes. The quartet turned up with lathis and forced Saif and two of his friends into the patrol car. Around 1.30am, they were taken to SG Palya police station.
According to Saif, the cops initially spoke to them nicely. “But within seconds, the scene changed, and a policeman came into the room with a lathi. I thought it was just to scare us, but then he began hitting us,” Saif recalled. “Three cops took turns to beat us until my local guardian came to the police station at 3.30am,” he added.
The three youths took blows on their hands, back and legs. Before releasing them, the cops made them give an undertaking declaring they won’t step out late at night and slapped petty cases against them (causing nuisance) and a fine of Rs 500 per person. “The document read that we will not step out late at night and if cops found us, any action could be taken against us. They also made us sign another document in Kannada, which they said is signed by persons riding without a helmet,” Saif explained.
The youngsters said the men in uniform also threatened to get them evicted from the apartment and even get their internships cancelled. Saif said stepping out for tea after midnight is normal among students and young professionals living in the area, but such unwarranted police action is new.
With the incident going viral on Instagram, DCP (Whitefield) MN Anucheth, who is in charge of south-east division, ordered an inquiry into the case. “I learnt about the incident through social media. I have ordered the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Mico Layout to conduct an investigation and submit a report,” said Anucheth.
Apartment bodies get notice
Close on the heels of the arrest of terror suspects in Bengaluru and elsewhere in Karnataka, police issued notices to apartment associations to reveal details of occupants.
The notice, a copy of which is available with TOI, seeks details of occupants at apartments. It states that if the association finds anyone suspicious, they need to immediately inform cops.
Police sources said: “At many apartments, flat owners have either rented or leased out their premises. But in several cases, tenant details have not been collected and this could be a security threat. We are asking residents to be alert to anything suspicious in their neighbourhood.”
According to them, many apartments are seeking contact numbers, photos and email IDs, not just of occupants, but also of visitors.