The Kerala State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has ordered an investigation by its own Superintendent of Police into the assault on a teenager by a Sub-Inspector attached to the Medical College police station a few months ago.
P. Mohanadas, acting chairperson of the commission, told the media here on Wednesday that the official had been asked to submit the report within two months. It had been alleged that the SI was charged with a minor offence by the local police. At the same time, more serious offences had been included in the case against the teenager based on a counter-complaint. It had also been claimed that the teenager’s age had been inflated.
Mr. Mohanadas pointed out that there had been many such cases of police atrocities from across the State where the complainant would turn out to be the accused. Counter-complaints and cases were being registered against complainants, often under non-bailable offences. The commission was often finding it difficult to get the true picture in such cases, he pointed out.
Flaws in ration cards
The commission had held sitting in Kannur, Wayanad, and Kozhikode districts for the past few days. Some of the complaints dealt with the discrepancies in ration cards. Those categorised as below the poverty line were included in above the poverty line category when new cards were issued. Officials claimed that it was due to some procedural lapses resulted by glitches in the software, he said.
Plight of tribals
Mr. Mohanadas said senior officials had been directed to address the grievances of residents at the Ponkuzhi tribal colony near Muthanga in Wayanad district. He said the condition of tribal people was an example of gross human rights violation.
They were not being allowed to access forest produce, their only source of livelihood. They were living in unhygienic conditions, most women were illiterate, and children were not going to school. They were facing acute shortage of potable water too.
As the colony was situated next to the border with Karnataka, illicit liquor was made easily available to the residents. The District Collector had been asked to hold talks with officials to address their concerns.
There have been many cases of police atrocities in the State where the complainant would turn out to be the accused
Acting chairperson, SHRC