COVID-19 lockdown: KSHRC orders probe into caning and use of force by police

View of Whitefield Main Road during the lockdown in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) has ordered a probe into three complaints of alleged brutality in the State when police resorted to caning people during enforcement of the lockdown on Monday.

R.K. Dutta, member of the Commission, said the police wing was tasked with a probe into the three complaints and will submit a report by June 8, when the case is posted for hearing.

Meanwhile, two retired judges also came down heavily on the police. Retired Supreme Court judge V. Gopal Gowda termed police beating people with lathis ‘a barbaric act’ and said there was no legal basis for the same. “People trusted with protecting the rule of law seem to have taken law into their hands. Each of the personnel, who assaulted the public, must be booked and the probe entrusted to a judicial inquiry commission,” he said, adding that the police leadership who watched silently for the entire day must also be held accountable and culpable.

Another retired judge of Karnataka and Bombay High Courts M.F. Saldanha termed police action “inhuman and arbitrary” and said he would consider moving the High Court in a Public Interest Litigation. His visits to and from hospitals are under threat of the vehicle being seized and being beaten up on the road. The threat was not imaginary, he stated.

Both former judges were also critical of police seizing vehicles. Mr. Saldanha said no law can sanction such atrocity and this was “virtually State goondaism” while Mr. Gowda questioned under what provision of law were the police seizing vehicles.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 4:39:56 PM |

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