Several complainants at the monthly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe meeting with the police here on Sunday alleged misbehaviour from various police officials in the city. Apathy, rudeness, and a general disinclination allegedly by the police to take up cases came to the fore at the meeting.

Sumitra Umesh from Konaje detailed the long, frustrating tryst, with local police officials. In 2006, her husband Umesh Naik, Assistant Professor in the Library and Information Sciences Department in Mangalore University, was involved in a motorcycle accident after which the police deferred filing a case. “Even though we fought for the case to be filed, the police have not shared details of the chargesheet. We still have not got compensation that is given to accident victims belonging to Scheduled Caste,” she said.

However, their frustrations were compounded when, a couple of years ago, the police displayed indifference when a car “on purpose” collided with Mr. Naik’s car. This, she said, traces to the family’s complaints against their neighbour, who runs an illegal plastics factory in his house.

“Our family faces threats every day, but the police have not taken it seriously,” she said. Her son Shujana said it was routine for the neighbour to harass him when returning home after school.

Ms. Sumitra even claimed police officials at the Konaje Station had threatened them to stop filing complaints.

Another complaint against a police official came from Dalit leader Sadashiv from Urwa Store who alleged that a Mangalore South police constable Shaaju had abused and assaulted him on October 30 at the Service Bus Stand here. “No action has been taken in spite of filing a complaint,” he said.

Similarly, Gunawati complained of coercion from Assistant Sub-Inspectors at the Women’s Police Station, Pandeshwar. She told The Hindu that after her friend received lewd messages from an unknown person, they arrived at the station to register a complaint. “After the police traced the man responsible, the woman ASIs refused to file an FIR, and instead forced us to compromise on the case,” she said.

Chairing the grievance meeting, Manish Kharbikar, Mangalore Police Commissioner, said inquiries would be made into these complaints, and added that an inquiry had already been ordered against constable Shaaju. 

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