Mr Kaushik Mukherji ,Chief Secretary, Karnataka
** Mr Lalrokhuma Pachau
Press Council of India,
Soochna Bhavan, 8-C.G.O. Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003
**IGP, Southern Range, Mysore
**Election commission of India
Chief Election Commissioner
**Dr. Nasim Zaidi
**Karnataka Chief electoral officer
Anil Kumar Jha
Chief Election Commissioner
Chief Executive Officer of NHRC
Smt. Kanwaljit Deol, IPS
Director General (Investigation)
**KARNATAKA STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
1st – 4th FLOORS, 5th PHASE, MULTISTOREYED BUILDING, BANGALORE-560 001
Phone: 080-22392200 Fax:080-22392200
**POLL OBSERVER (Hassan)
Mr. Raghuveer CSMP IAS 1992 MP MP MP
**Police Observer (Hassan)
Dr. Ravi M.
** KUWJ Bangalore .
Dear Sir ,
Definitely a law abiding citizen will welcome all the strict measures initiated by the administration, particularly the Election Commission during the elections. But this does not provide with a freedom to the officials to behave rudely and act like goons with the people.
On April 10, 2014 I was on an election coverage tour in Hassan district and was travelling on Hassan-Belur highway to notice a group of people belonging to a particular political party and journalistic sense and curiosity tempted me to take note of the situation and know what is transpiring at the spot . I got down from the car and was silently watching the argument of the political party workers and the elections officials led by one probationary IAS officer Ramachandran .
Suddenly without any provocation officer pointing his fingers at me shouted and said “Nadiyo Aache( singular term in Kannada asking one to go away). I reacted to his shouting and suggested the IAS officer to not behave in such a manner with the citizens. IAS officer suddenly asked the police officer ( A sub-inspector ) standing by his side to shove me away. PSI taking orders from the IAS officer started pushing me away and when I objected he manhandled me. Pointing at his dress the PSI shouted “ do you know this worthiness of his dress” and held me by my shirt and bundled me into a jeep .
At this juncture I revealed that I am a journalist and I was just watching the happenings at the spot . But the PSI never bothered or evinced any interest to check my identity and journalistic credentials . Though I tried to take out my Identity card and accreditation card to show it to the officer, he had no patience to wait and badly man handled me. Even a passer by pointing at my white beard suggested the police officer to respect my age . Nothing worked .
Another official on poll duty intervened and directed the PSI to release me as for him my age mattered. Even when PSI asked me to get down from the jeep, he dragged me to free me on the road. Even my car driver who sensing the danger tried to intervene. But the officials shoved him away. PSI, when I refused to board the jeep and volunteered to come to the police station , he hit me twice on my chest with the elbow . Officer was shrewd enough to show that he was not hitting and make one to believe that he was only pushing with his elbow .
To be frank any frail man of my age( 56 years) would have collapsed and got admitted to hospital . As I am hale and healthy and physically fit I withstood his physical assault. As a responsible journalist working with a reputed newspaper despite being hit by the police officer I avoided visiting hospital as there was nothing for me to pretend . To be honest today I am receiving muscular spasms in my chest and back region mostly because of the officer’s hits.
For a moment I was forced to believe and ask myself “Whether we are living in a police state and is it a democracy we have inherited after 65 years of freedom . As a journalist I am of the firm opinion that this incident would have not happened to anybody whether he or she is a journalist or a law abiding citizen. Police officer treated me like a criminal ( In a welfare state even criminal also be dealt as per the law and not like this ) and he his behavior reminded me of scenes from Hindi movies where police official express their heroic mannerism through illegal means and ways.
Sir I immediately briefed about this incident to Hassan DC who prompt enough to regret the incident, Hassan SP , Southern range IGP and an official working with the election observer . Later I reached the Belur police inspector’s office and lodged a written complaint . After filing the complaint I spoke to the ADGP(L&O ) M N Reddy besides informing my office on the issue.
My sincere request to you all is such incidents should not recur in future. I am neither seeking action against the officials for having hang ups of being a journalist of a reputed newspaper nor that stakes of my status in the society are in jeopardy . But the officers should be disciplined which will not only send a strong message to the other officials of such mind set , it will also save the innocent citizens from such harassments and humiliations. A strong action against these officials will send a right message across the society and reinforce peoples faith in democratic values and principles.
I hope the incident will be inquired and action will be initiated against the guilty .
M B Maramkal
Chief Of Bureau
The Times Of India
Prince of Wales Road Near RTO office
Mysore -570 005