Cops ‘man’handle woman teacher at police station
Many a rule flouted: The woman suspect was called to R T Nagar police station after dusk; not a single woman constable was around when the teacher was interrogated
December 27, 2010
A 32-year-old woman school teacher was brought to a police station at 8.30 pm last Tuesday, and subjected to third-degree interrogation
She was tortured so much by a group of all-male cops that she developed convulsions and fell unconscious. Later, medical examination revealed that she had sustained internal injuries.
Rules clearly state that no woman suspect should be kept in the police station after dusk, but cops at R T Nagar police station chose to flout them. The teacher, identified as Celina, a resident of R T Nagar, was being treated for injuries she suffered on her back, hip, arm and neck during interrogation.
How it started
Celina was picked up by the cops in connection with a case of a doctor having gone missing. A teacher of a private school, she was separated from her husband and lived on her own. For the past 10 years, she had been a family friend of Dr Prakash, who has his own clinic at R T Nagar. She was on friendly terms with the doctor’s wife, Rajeshwari, and their daughter.
The twist in the tale came on December 21. Rajeshwari lodged a complaint with the police, accusing Celina of having kidnapped her husband. She alleged that Prakash had been missing since December 19, and Celina knew about his whereabouts. Tracking the mobile phone call details of Prakash, the cops found that the doctor had spoken last to Celina just before disappearing.
Celina told Bangalore Mirror, “On December 21, a person named Chandru called me, asking me to report to the R T Nagar police station. As it was late in the evening, I told him that I would come the next day. But he insisted it was a minor enquiry which would hardly take 10 minutes. So, around 8.30 pm I went to the police station with a few friends of mine. Asking my friends to wait outside, the on-duty cops took me inside. One inspector Poovaiah started asking me questions about Prakash. I told him that he had spoken to me about being harassed at home. But the cops did not believe me and started harassing me.”
Meanwhile, Poovaiah received a call. After talking for a while, he hung up assuring the caller that Celina would be “taught a lesson”. Celina said, “Then he started hitting me on my back with a lathi and shifted me to another room. The cops kept assaulting me till 11 pm. Not a single woman constable was there at the police station — all of them were men and they harassed me like anything. They hit me on my back, hands, thighs and legs. They assaulted me every 10 minutes. It was brutal. I told the police that Prakash used to like me, but we decided to do nothing about it as he had a family. There was no reason for me to kidnap him. But the cops were in no mood to listen.”
Unable to take the beating any more, Celina lost consciousness. “I do not know what happened. When I opened my eyes again, I was in a hospital. Later, I came to know from my brothers that the police had shifted me to the nearby Chaitanya Hospital,” she said.
The hospital records, copies of which are with Bangalore Mirror, said that Celina had to be admitted to the ICU as she lost consciousness after a fall at the police station. Apart from swellings on her back and the right side of the hip joint, there were abrasions on her right arm.
Celina’s brothers shifted her to Bowring Hospital as the charges at Chaitanya, a private hospital, were too steep. Bowring Hospital records, too, pointed out to injuries on her body. Celina said, “The cops could have questioned me the next morning, but they tortured me in the night. Worse, there was no woman constable. Inspector Poovaiah was very rude. He was the first one to hit me.
“Why would I kidnap my own friend who used to like me? In fact, whenever Prakash told me that he wanted to give me a new lease of life, I used to tell him to discuss it with his wife. Before he went missing, he told me that he wanted to take a break from his family. When I advised him not to, he switched off his mobile. Subsequently, the cops picked me up.”
Two days after the brutal incident, Prakash returned home and told the police that he was a good friend of Celina. But why did the cops act so brutally? Inspector Poovaiah trashed it all, saying, “It is true that we called her to the police station based on a complaint. While interrogating, she fainted as she had low blood pressure and we admitted her to a hospital for first-aid. That is all, and we have not assaulted her. Now that Prakash is back with his family, Celina and her relatives have started a different drama.”
When asked about the injuries, the police said Celina inflicted them on herself to “build her case”. However, the cops had no answer when asked why they flouted the rules by calling her to the police station at night and detained her till 11 pm.
On Monday, Celina is meeting representatives of the state human rights commission and director general of police Ajai Kumar Singh to lodge a formal complaint against the R T Nagar cops.
I told him that I would come the next day. But he insisted it would take 10 minutes
Celina, the victim