‘Based on counter-complaint they force a compromise and drop the cases’

The transfer of Sub-Inspector Nagaraj from Kadaba Police Station did little to assuage Dalit activists, who alleged officials in the station were harassing complainants and forcing them to compromise on cases.

Raising the issue at the monthly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe meeting held here on Sunday, Anand Mithrabail, an activist from Kadaba, said after his niece had filed a sexual harassment complaint at the station, police officials forced the accused to file a counter case against her family alleging they had threatened him and forced him to pay Rs. 5,000. “This is not the first time they are doing this. We have seen them force a counter-complaint, and then force a compromise so that the cases are dropped,” he said. The activists further alleged mistreatment from the officials, including the SI, in civil cases and other cases. They questioned how police funds could be used to build a temple for a local deity on the station premises.

Superintendent of Police Abhishek Goyal said SI had been transferred starting Sunday, and the new SI would look into these complaints and ensure other officials in the station do not cross their jurisdiction.

He added that there was “nothing wrong” in building a temple on the premises, as the main police complex in the city also has a masjid and a temple.

When an activist said the current procedure of taking the victim – in this case, a rape victim from Belthangady – to identify the accused in jail was adding to the victim’s emotional torment, Mr. Goyal said: “Unfortunately, there is no alternative, and the law states these parades should be carried out in the jail because there is no chance of an outsider influencing the victim’s decision.”

Facilities

However, Mr. Goyal admitted that facilities such as installation of a one-way mirror – so that only the victim could see the accused and not the other-way round – were not available as of now.

SHOs to video-record complaints

Responding to an allegation that complainants were being interrogated and video taped, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Goyal said it was the policy of the police to record the statements of complainants now.

“We have given video cameras to every station. This is to ensure the complainant doesn’t give into pressure and change the statement later,” he said. However, not every complainant was being taped, and it was left to the discretion of the Station House Officer .

Meanwhile, he said a traffic police station had been proposed at Bantwal, and until the station comes up, five Home Guards had been posted there to regulate traffic.

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