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BackYou are here: ResistanceStatements SLANDEROUS HARASSMENT AND VIOLATION OF PERSONAL LIBERTY BY KERALA POLICE AGAINST AN ACTIVIST'S FAMILY

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SLANDEROUS HARASSMENT AND VIOLATION OF PERSONAL LIBERTY BY KERALA POLICE AGAINST AN ACTIVIST'S FAMILY

SLANDEROUS HARASSMENT AND VIOLATION OF PERSONAL LIBERTY BY KERALA POLICE AGAINST AN ACTIVIST'S FAMILY

The fact finding team consisting of members from PUCL, Kerala, Janakeeya Manushyavakasya Prasthanam, CPCL-TN, were formed to go into the facts of the alleged harassment faced by the family members of Ms. Shaina, her old mother, aged 71 and young children aged 15years and 8 years, within days of assumption of power by  the UDF government since May 2011. The team received an email from Ms. Shaina, which is attached as Annexure wherein she has reported about the harassment meted out to her mother and daughters in the hands of Kerala Police.   With this as the initial brief and with the purpose of ascertaining the facts by visiting the affected and for gathering the response from the Officials concerned, the team was constituted with the members from different civil and democratic organizations from Kerala  and other nearby states.

The Fact Finding Team (hereafter referred as FFT or Team) was constituted with the following members:

GROW. Vasu

Advocate. Pouran, PUCL, Kerala

Advocate Murugan, Centre for Protection of Civil Liberties, Tamilnadu,(CPCL,TN)

Advocate Kesavan, CPCL,TN,

S.Gopal, CPCL,TN,

Advocate Thushar Nirmal Sarathy, Janakeeya Manushyavakasya Prasthanam,

 

The FFt visited Trissur on 14th October 2011 and met the alleged victims viz Ms Nabeesa (71yrs), (Ms.Shaina's mother) and Shaina's daughters Amy (Aged 15yrs) and  Savera(Aged 8yrs).  The Team also met police officials concerned viz.,  Sijo Vargheese, SI,  Vargheese addl. SI of Valappad police station, CI  Haridas of Valappad police station.  The Team could not meet CI Ravindranath, against whom there were specific complaints.

Mother Nabeesa spoke to the team and conveyed the harassment she had to undergo in the hands of the police in the name of raids, search operations and enquiries. The mother told the team that on the night of 31st may, 2011 the police raided their house around 10 p.m.  It was around that time when the boy named Vigil, a friend of Amy, the elder daughter came there to hand over her umbrella. The boy did not find Amy and the grand mother Nabeesa respond immediately to the calling bell. The mother and the daughter Amy told the team that the calling bell was not working on that day as it was under repair.  The boy Vigil when returning saw some 20- 25 police men posted around the house which he felt was unusual. Normally police party comes around there for guarding as there was fear of theft amongst the dwellers in the surrounding. But this time the large gathering of police personnel seemed unusual. He went upstairs and called the grand mother and told her the strange situation and the mother obliged to allow him inside the house to stay in. Soon the police party came in and broke open the house lock with the boulders and raided the house. The police party led by the then CI, Ravindranath came in and searched the house. They came upstairs and asked the mother to go down and the young girl Amy who was left alone was questioned by the police personnel. The police took away with them some electronic gadgets and the two mobiles of Amy which they returned the next day. Subsequently it was grabbed again and taken away by the Police. Mother had to go to the police station up and down for two days to get the mobiles back from the Police.

When the team members spoke to the young girl, Amy, she told the team that on the night of May 31st 2011, a police party of more than 20 in numbers came home. There were also a few plain clothes men who had accompanied the police party.  A Police Officer, by name CI, Ravindranath along with other plain clothes men (intelligence officials?)  questioned her about the whereabouts of her parents.  The police party also saw the rifle cover of her grandfather's rifle and asked if her father had gone with the rifle.  The Police Officer (CI Ravindranath) threatened the girl and her grand mother that he will hit her father with boulders and kill him to death.  He repeated the same before her younger sister Savera aged 8years. A day later the police party that came with a woman police constable spoke calmly with the grandmother and the girl and asked them to let them know the whereabouts of the girl's father and relieve themselves from the police harassments.  She told the team that the police CI Ravindranath derisively asked the Grand Mother Nabeesa to take poison, feed it also to the children and commit suicide.  The girl also informed the team that one constable named Abhilash, attached to the Valappad police station spoke to the girl in a nasty manner stating that he knew the boy Vigil  and claimed that the boy had informed the police how she has  lost her chastity. The girl also told the team that there used to be continuous surveillance till October 3rd of this year and she used to hear noises of boot-steps in the dark hours middle of the night. She also told that the police also contacted her friends and advised them not to keep close touch with her family. One of her friend's father spoke to her and asked her not to be in touch with his daughter Sneha. Because of the continuous search operations the people in the neighbourhood are also apparently averse to maintain close contact with their family.

The FFT  met the police officials Sijo Vargheese, SI and another Vargheese, Addl.SI of Valappad police station and informed them of the indecent behaviour of the police constable Abhilash. They both feigned ignorant of such acts of the Police constable. The team also met the CI Haridas of Valappad police station and informed him of the Police constable Abhilash's misdemeanor. He assured the team that he will take necessary action, if due complaint is brought to his notice. The team could not get in touch with the then CI Ravindranath as he had since been posted as security officer at the High Court of Kerala.

Conclusion:

  • The team noted that the children, Amy aged 15years, studying 10 th standard and the girl aged 8years have been put to great stress by continuous surveillance, raids and enquiries by the local police along with the crime and intelligence police. The child aged 8 has been threatened by the police stating that her father will be done to death by blowing his head with boulders.
  • The elder had to face bitter and untold trauma facing the wrath of putting her chastity in to question. She had to meekly put up with the abusive language of the police officials against herself and her parents. The wield threat by the police that her father's head will be crushed by using boulders has numbed them causing psychological harassment.
  • She is also put to hardship of being ostracised from her friends and relatives by police alluding to her father's Maoist connections.
  • The mother, Nabeesa aged 71 years, herself a heart patient who has undergone By-pass surgery was harassed by threatening by the then CI, Ravindranath of Valappad police station, (now posted to as Security Officer, High Court of Kerala) that her son in law would be done to death, and asking her to commit suicide along with her grand children.
  • The police constable Abhilash of Valappad police station has behaved in a nasty way by questioning the chastity of the girl aged 15 years.
  • The police raided the house on the night of 31st May of 2011, by breaking open the door of the house by boulders. They seized the mobiles, gadgets of the girl child Amy, without any search warrant or seizure memo or acknowledging receipt of the seized items, although the seized mobiles were returned after 3 days.
  • Under the garb of surveillance the privacy and personal liberty of the old and children were violated and threatened.

Hence, the team demands:

1. Stringent Departmental action ought to be taken against Mr. Ravindranath, the then CI of the Valappad Police Station  (who is since transferred as a Security Officer of the High Court Kerala) for his outrageous behavior violating the personal liberty of the old and the young. (who is since transferred as a Security Officer of the High Court Kerala.).

2. The police constable Abhilash who harassed the young girl in an indecent, rude and vulgar manner should be proceeded against his misdemeanor.

3. Recurrence of such harassments should be rescinded forthwith.

4. Due respects for personal liberty and privacy be accorded to the family members as rightful citizens.

5. The team would like to add herein that the Kerala police has been over enthusiastic in their surveillance activity so much so that it picked the team members into custody for questioning in the wee hours  on 14th of October, despite protest. The team members were forcefully taken from the rest house where they had just arrived for morning ablutions. Mr.Thomas , Dy. SP of Trichur East Police station, who headed the team was not willing to listen and check the identity of the advocates from Tamilnadu. All the team members were herded into the police vehicle to which the advocates from Tamilnadu protested and insisted that they would come to the police station independently and they cannot be treated shabbily or suspiciously. The Dy.SP  was arrogant and did not accede  to the Team's request that they would come to the Station on their own. Whereas  the team members were taken in an Auto Rickshaw wherein two police constables forced themselves into the Auto Rickshaw travelled by the Team.

6.  The team members were questioned by the police officials belonging to IB, IS and Crime branch and they were detained for 6-7 hours in the Thrissur east police station till 1pm, without any valid reason.

7. The team members were insistent on being allowed to go for the fact finding mission or be detained. They refused to oblige for any custodial food. Later, after protracted arguments by the advocates and protest actions in 6 districts of Kerala against the police highhandedness, the team members were left free to go ahead with the fact finding mission.

8. The treatment meted out the members of the given Fact Finding Team is unbecoming of any policing in a democratic system, which symbolizes the precarious human rights situation in Kerala, particularly under the new regime.

Sd/-

GROW. Vasu

Advocate. Pouran, PUCL, Kerala.

Advocate Murugan, Centre for Protection of Civil Liberties, Tamilnadu,(CPCL,TN)

Advocate Kesavan, CPCL, TN

S.Gopal, CPCL,TN

Advocate Thushar Nirmal Sarathy

Trissur.

14.10.2011

 


 

 

 

ANNEXURE

 

An open letter to Mr. Oommen Chandy, the Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala

I, Shyna.P.A, a former staff of Kerala High Court, invite your immediate attention to the following facts:

 

During the period of last V.S. Achyuthanandan ministry I was subjected to continuous police harassment and recurrent attempts of arrest under false charges. In 2007- my house was searched without warrant and I was arrested in late midnight, around 1a.m, and kept under illegal custody along with my two young minor daughters and a group of democrats from West Bengal, who was conducting propaganda against the forceful eviction in Nandigram. Just a few days earlier to this incident there was another attempt to arrest me when I accompanied a group of human rights activists visiting Govindan Kutty, editor of Peoples March, in Viyyur Central Jail.

 

Then, after a couple of weeks, the next move was to arrest me implicating in a case of harbouring of a maoist party leader Mr. Mallaraja Reddy and his wife who were arrested from Kerala. An extensive search operation was conducted in my absence in the house where I was staying at that time after breaking open the doors. Many articles including cpu of a computer, a digital camera, CDs etc were taken away. No receipt or seizure list was given till date. They did not care to serve any notice or send information to my mother who is the actual owner of the house before or after the search operation. Instead they locked the house with a new lock and kept the key with them till my mother got a High Court order for releasing the key after many months. Many documents and house hold articles were found stolen when she opened the house.

 

All these were politically motivated and the main reason behind this is my ideological solidarity and sympathy towards maoist movement. In this situation, I preferred to work from under-ground rather than becoming another Madani, live under detention for long period under false charges and  without a trial. So I left my house four years before and continued my fight based on the ideas I firmly believe in. The illegal and undemocratic police harassment and torture started by the last ministry against my family and me is still continuing and getting worse under the present government also.

 

My two minor daughters are living with my mother, a retired govt. servant, aged 71 years. She is a heart patient and has undergone a by-pass surgery a few years ago. She is ailing from different diseases like diabetics, hypertension and age related problems. Add to her miseries frequent police raids in the midnight and wee-hours, questioning and threatening and other forms of mental and physical harassment by police. Absolutely no legal procedure is followed during these so called search operations that too in a house where only female members are living. They break open the door at midnight and enter the house forcefully without any warrant or other legal formalities, conduct search and procure materials and documents as is their usual practice  They often use abusive language to the helpless little children and my old mother and used to threaten them.

 

Some of the latest incidents in this series have taken place on May-31st and the following weeks. A group of about 20 policemen who followed a friend of my daughter who visited our house to return an umbrella he borrowed earlier (my house is under 24 hours close observation) thinking he is our messenger, broke open the door of the house without any warning, conducted thorough search and seized many materials and documents. They talked in a very abusive language about the chastity of my daughter who is only 15 years old despite the protest of my mother and took her friend into custody. The boy later told my family that he was questioned, threatened and mentally tortured by the police.

 

They asked my mother, who is in a very dismal health condition, -"Why are you living like this? Why don't you commit suicide along with theses children?"They abused and threatened her using foul language in front of the small children. Apart from causing mental torture and agony to my mother, the police officers have committed a serious offence punishable under criminal law by inciting her to commit suicide.

 

The police officers compelled the boy (my daughter's friend) to admit that he has an illicit relationship with my daughter and lied to him that my daughter had already admitted so. Next day a police constable named Abhilash came to our house and asked her: "Tell me the truth, do you have any sexual relationship with that boy? I will not tell anybody. He gave us a description of your body features." And he continued to speak in the same manner though my mother, annoyed by his vulgar way of speaking sexual matters to such a small girl, requested him to stop such queries. At last my daughter told him that she is ready to undergo any medical examination to prove her virginity.

 

In the following days, the police team continuously visited our home and they repeatedly questioned even my younger daughter who is only eight years old. Circle Inspector Ravindranadh of Valapad Police station told the little girl that they will catch her father and then "We will kill that pulayadimon by hitting and hitting him with a stone on his head." (He used a Malayalam abusive term equivalent to son of a bitch to describe my husband.)

 

The frequent police visits and searches in the middle of the night by the C.I Ravindranadh and his subordinates repeated many days and is still going on.

These illegal search operations in the midnight, breaking open the doors of a house where only female members are living and abusing an innocent old woman and little girls and inciting them to commit suicide are some of the cruel repressive measures adopted by the police officers who are responsible for maintaining the rule of law in the society. The police and intelligence are hunting my family and me only because I dared to continue my fight on the basis of my convictions for building a just and egalitarian society. By doing so, their secret intention is that, they can deter, isolate and smash the confidence of the persons who struggle against the problems of the existing social order. This reveals the authoritarian face of the state under the mask of democracy. An emergency day like situation (or worse than that) is prevailing where police and intelligence are violating all the civil and human rights and are acting against the rule of law.

 

I request you to stop all these undemocratic, illegal and inhuman repressive measures and take urgent steps to initiate legal proceedings against the police officers responsible for the illegal harassment.

 

12th August 2011

Sincerely,

Shyna.P.A.

 

Copy to:

 

1.K.Jayakumar, Home Secretary

2.Chairman, State Human Rights Commission

3.Chairperson, State Women's Commission

4.Justice. V.R. Krishna Iyer

5.Arundathi Roy, Writer-Activist

6.B.R.P. Bhasker, Human Rights Activist

7.Gouridasan Nair, Kerala Journalists' Union

8.K.Ajitha, Anweshi Womens Counselling Centre

9.Sara Joseph, Writer-Activist

10. Adv. P.A. Pouran, P.U.C.L

11. C.R. Neelakandan, Writer-Activist

12. Adv. Thushar Nirmal Saradhi, Kerala Manushyavakasa Prasthanam