Following a complaint filed by a former inmate, a police team led by the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) raided late on Monday an institution in Hulimavu, which its management claims to be a rehabilitation centre for alcoholics.
Speaking to The Hindu, Inspector General of Police (KSHRC) Wazir Ahmad said the action was taken after Thimmachar, an inmate who managed to escape from confinement at the centre, lodged a complaint where he charged the centre with assault, kidnapping, illegal detention, daily harassment and humiliation.
In his complaint Mr. Thimmachar, who is a retired police officer, said he was forcibly taken away from his home by some unidentified persons around four months ago. These persons delivered him to the Serenity Rehabilitation Centre in Hulimavu. Once lodged inside, he was denied basic human rights and subjected to torture, he alleged. Significantly, he also said he was never told why he was being detained at the centre. Mr. Thimmachar told the police he managed to escape from the centre a few daysago with the help of his son and a cousin. After conducting a preliminary investigation to ascertain the veracity of his claims, the KSHRC team, led by Mr. Ahmad, directed the Hulimavu police to assist them in conducting the raid.
The raiding party arrested John Isaac, the centre's managing director, and set free the 52 inmates found on the premises during the operation. Those freed also had similar stories to tell, Mr. Ahmad said. He said the centre is suspected of being part of an organised racket. “Their services are hired to kidnap and illegally confine people. In the case of Mr. Thimmachar, his relatives wanted him out of the way owing to a property dispute,” he said.