The family of a jeweller has accused the Ashok Nagar police of detaining him illegally and torturing him on the pretext of investigating a mobile phone theft. Worse, the police team threatened to foist a terrorism charge on him and kill him in a fake encounter and also detain his wife and rape her if he did not confess, alleged the family of Syed Abul Kasim (30), who unsuccessfully contested from Gauribidanur in the recently held elections to the Assembly.

Mr. Kasim’s ordeal lasted six hours, said his family members who have filed a complaint at the same police station though no action has been taken so far.

The family took the help of a rights organisation and filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission, State Minorities Commission, the City Police Commissioner and Director-General and Inspector-General of Police, seeking action against the guilty police officials.

Mr. Kasim’s brother, Joseph Jathri Prem, said that his sibling was summoned by the Ashok Nagar police on May 16 around 8 p.m. over the theft of a cellphone. When he went to the station, he was locked up in a room by sub-inspector Jagadish, who rained abuse on him, stripped him and beat with lathis and iron rods to extract a confession, the complaint said.

When Mr. Kasim pleaded his innocence, Jagadish allegedly threatened to bump him off in a fake encounter after branding him a terrorist and threatened to detain and rape his wife, the complaint alleged.

The police released him around midnight after his family arrived at the station, but not before getting him to sign on blank papers and warning him against speaking about what had happened, Mr. Prem told The Hindu.

Mr. Kasim has been hospitalised.

Mr. Prem said the department has not acted on the complaint. “We want to know why police detained and tortured him. If it is a case of a mobile phone theft, Kasim is a jeweller having business interests not only in India but also abroad. There is no need for him to steal a mobile phone.”

Ashok Nagar Police Inspector S.H. Murali insisted it was a legal detention as Mr. Kasim was a suspect in a theft case. Denying torture, Mr. Murali said: “We had evidence about his involvement before summoning him for questioning.”

Meanwhile, the grievance cell of the state police has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Ravikanthe Gowda to conduct an enquiry.

Keywords: police torture

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