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Probe on into another incident of police high-handedness

Police team accused of locking child inside car during vehicle check

The Thiruvananthapuram rural police have instituted an inquiry into an incident of alleged high-handedness by officers attached to the Balaramapuram police during a traffic enforcement drive over six months ago.

The controversy has put the police in the dock again at a time when the force has been trying to put to rest an incident relating to a false accusation made by a Pink Patrol officer against an eight-year-old child and her father at Attingal. Incidentally, the latter incident had emboldened the complainants, Shibu Kumar and Anjana, to speak up against the police in connection with the incident that occurred on February 23.

The couple, both musicians, have accused the police of locking their three-year-old daughter inside their car after flagging down their vehicle on charge of speeding. They were on their way to the city from Mr. Kumar’s house near Kunnathukal when the incident took place.

The police team directed Mr. Kumar to pay a fine of ₹1,500, but he expressed his inability to pay the amount due to the financial hardship the family had been facing. He possessed only ₹500 at the time of the incident. While he managed to pay the fine after his friends lent him the required sum, a remark made by him about the lack of efforts by the police to stop other traffic violators did not go down well with the policemen.

On seeing Ms. Anjana recording the incident on her mobile phone, a sub-inspector got inside their car and took away the key and slammed the door while the child was still inside the car, the couple alleged. They said the officer locked the car even as the child wept in fear. They claimed that the car key was returned to them only after several minutes.

With the issue grabbing headlines, the Deputy Inspector General, Thiruvananthapuram Range, has directed the District Police Chief (Thiruvananthapuram Rural) to conduct an inquiry. The Special Branch is learnt to have collected the statement of the couple.

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