Updated: June 13, 2021 6:02:25 pm
Eight policemen in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, who have been accused of “beating a 50-year-old mentally challenged man to death” for violating lockdown norms, were suspended on Sunday. The suspension order was issued following a report submitted by a senior police officer after a complaint was lodged in connection with the case.
Karnataka Southern Range Inspector General of Police (IGP) Praveen Madhukar Pawar said the incident took place near Virajpet Town Police Station during the late hours of June 9. “The decision to suspend eight policemen was taken based on a preliminary report. This will help ensure a fair and impartial investigation into the matter,” he told The Indian Express.
Police have identified the suspended officers as head constable M U Sunil and police constables N S Lokesh, H J Tanukumar, N H Satish, Sunil M L, Ramesh A, K G Nehru, and B T Pradeep. All of them were posted in Virajpet.
The report against the cops allegedly involved in the incident was submitted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Virajpet. IGP Pawar said that he had sought the report from the DSP based on the complaint filed by the brother of the deceased.
Another police officer said the complaint had mentioned that the deceased — identified as Roy D’Souza (50) — was admitted to a hospital in a “precarious condition” after he was allegedly beaten up by the police officers who were out to enforce lockdown norms on June 9. The incident took place near a fuel station outside the police station.
The complaint filed against the policemen states that D’Souza was taken to the police station after the incident, where he was allegedly roughed up. “After the assault in the police station, D’Souza had collapsed to the ground, following which his mother was called and informed to take her son away. The family then decided to admit D’Souza to a nearby private hospital for treatment, where he breathed his last on June 12,” the deceased’s brother mentioned in the complaint.
A police officer, however, claimed that D’Souza, and not the cops, was the aggressor. He said, “D’Souza was stopped by the cops on duty for violating lockdown norms. D’Souza then attacked a constable with a sharp object, injuring his hand. The officer (PC Sangamesh Shivapura) is now under treatment after receiving three stitches. D’Souza had also barged into the police station threatening to attack the others on duty.”
The case has now been transferred to the Karnataka Crime Investigation Department (CID). “The CID team from Bengaluru has already arrived. They will take up further interrogations and follow other due procedures to conduct the probe in the coming days,” IGP Pawar said.
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