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Police apathy: A frightening reality!

Custodial deaths in police stations never end in the country. The lack of action against the criminals in police uniform is to blame for the recurrence of such incidents. The force that is supposed to uphold the laws are routinely found misusing and disrespecting the laws of the country. We often hear of custodial deaths in police stations but no probe is conducted. In April 2014, Agnello Valdaris, a resident of Reay Road, Mumbai was brutally murdered and his body flung on the railway tracks by the Wadala railway police to show that it was a case of suicide. Two of Agnello’s friends who were with him at the time of the incident were also stripped naked and asked to perform oral sex on each other by the police. They too were brutally tortured by the Wadala railway police and a false case was also implicated against them.

Sudip Dalvi, a member of the Musical Warriors and Save Tiracol Movement, was attacked by the Goa police on November 7, 2015 when he demanded a probe into the mysterious death of Fr Bismarque Dias whose body was fished out of the Mandovi River on the very same day, two days after he went missing from his residence. In Dalvi’s own words: “A police officer punched me and shoved me into the police van when I insisted a probe into Fr Bismarque’s mysterious death. The police officer then banged my head against the iron grill of the window of the van. I remained unconscious for almost 45 minutes.” Sudip Dalvi, an associate of Fr Bismarque Dias, is in possession of vital clues in connection with the priest’s death.

If you take a round in the market, you will see policemen accepting bribes from tiffin carriers, vegetable vendors, fruit sellers, fish mongers and even from tea sellers. These poor men/women who earn very little, are harassed and assaulted by the cops’ everyday. And if you resist in giving the cops your money, you are beaten black and blue and a false case is registered against you. The very men who are supposed to uphold the laws are routinely found misusing their powers and do not respect the laws of the country.

On Friday, May 22, 2015, at around 6.45 p.m., a young boy of around 21 years of age was severely beaten and his clothes torn in full public view by the traffic police constables of the Sion-Dharavi police chowki near Sion railway station just because he asked the police constables the reason for the nakabandi that was taking place that moment. On December 28, 2013, I was falsely implicated by the traffic police constables of the Bhoiwada, Lalbaug police chowki at Parel just because I refused to give them money for carrying goods in the tempo in which I was travelling. On August 28, 2015, the traffic constable outside Lokmanya Tilak railway station confiscated the autorickshaw’s driving license in which my wife, my daughter and I were travelling. He imposed a fine of Rs 500 on him just because we were carrying extra baggage, which according to him is violation of RTO rules. There are several instances of policemen raping complainants in police stations and chowkies too and no action is being taken against them.    `

In one more incident, the Mumbai police mercilessly assaulted a young girl of around 21 years of age on September 27, 2015 at the pandal of Lalbaugcha Raja in Parel just because she was trying to make her way through the huge crowd of people in order to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha. In the month of October 2015, a man and a woman were picked up and badly beaten by the cops at the Andheri Police Station just because they were fully drunk and creating a ruckus on the road.


 Jubel D’Cruz

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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