Tea stall owner alleges police torture

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Bangalore, November 24: Life has not been the same for Fayaz (26), a tea stall owner from Nagawara, ever since a police team allegedly picked him up on November 2 seeking information about a mobile thief.

Fayaz, was allegedly detained and brutally tortured for three days in the Sampigehalli detention cell, till his family members gave the police 25 brand new mobile phones and Rs. 18,000 in cash to secure his release.

Fayaz has filed a complaint with the Lokayukta, State Human Rights Commission and City Police Commissioner’s office seeking action against the ‘erring policemen’. He has attached the medical reports from Bowring Hospital where he underwent treatment for the injuries he suffered during the torture, he said.

Recalling the ordeal, Fayaz, a resident of Hedge Nagar, said that he was at his tea stall when a group of four policemen barged in and whisked him away in their car.

“Before I could realise what was happening, they covered my head with a cloth and took me away. Soon after reaching a house, all four of them began raining blows on me – with lathis, boots and bare hands. When I cried for help and asked them why they were beating me up, one of them asked to confess that I know a mobile thief”.

“When I told them I do not know any mobile thief, one of the policeman, identified as Fakruddin, told me that I should either lead the policemen to thief or give them 25 brand new mobile sets and Rs. 18,000 in cash,” he told The Hindu. “I was hanged to the ceiling upside down with hands and legs tied, and was beaten up with lathis and boots, and was given electric shocks in the ear.”

When Fayaz’s family members learnt about the detention and rushed to the Sampigehalli police station, Fakruddin allegedly demanded the mobile phones and cash for his release. The victim’s elder brother, Nayaz, an automobile electrician, borrowed money to meet the demands of the policemen. Fayaz, in his complaint to the SHRC, has also enclosed the receipts of the mobile phones purchased to hand them over to the police.

On being contacted, Sampigehalli Police Inspector Keshavamurthy said that Fayaz was arrested on charge of receiving stolen property. “We have recovered stolen goods from him, but have not booked any case against him,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) T.R. Suresh said that Fayaz’s case had not come to his notice.

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