Skip to main content

Mangaluru 'violence': Police fired teargas in hospital compound, proceeded to storm in

Counterview Desk
A team of human rights and civil liberty activists from Karnataka, Kerala and Delhi conducted a fact-finding exercise in Mangaluru, Karnataka, where two people were killed in police firing after protests turned violent, scores were injured, and properties were damaged.
It prepared a report after meeting the families of the deceased, injured persons and their families, shopkeepers, administration and others in the Ibrahim Khaleel mosque, personnel in the Highland Hospital, the district medical officer Dr Rajeshwari Devi of Wenlock Hospital, and commissioner of police Dr PS Harsha.

Excerpts:

Heavy police deployment, including that of external Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) forces was in place with preparations of arrangement of sand bags and riot gear being undertaken at the location. On December 19, 2019 there were anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)/ National Population Register (NPR) protests held in Mangaluru city that were met with police action.
Two people were killed in Mangaluru in police firing after protests allegedly turned violent, and scores were injured, properties were damaged and several criminal cases were filed and with people also being arrested.
After this incident, Karnataka chief minister announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families for each of the deceased, only to withdraw it later. He also accused the people who had come in from Kerala for allegedly setting a police station ablaze and damaging public property after which the Kerala government intervened to make a safe passage for the people to get back to their home state.
The first incident appeared to have occurred around 1.30 pm, when a handful of youth attempted to protest against the CAA but were dispersed by the police, which used excessive violence against them.
From the videos circulating widely, it is apparent that their number was not more than 150 and that they were only shouting slogans. The protesters were violently thrashed, kicked, pushed around and abused before being thrown into police vans without any provocation in a premeditated manner. The police came down upon them with disproportionate force and violence.
There was some confusion amongst the youth about whether or not the protest announced for that day had been cancelled, as the message of cancellation issued after imposition of prohibitory orders under section 144 had not circulated to all.
The police then went on a rampage and stormed into shops in the vicinity, pulling out people, selectively attacking Muslims. At around 4 pm, a team of police attacked Ibrahim Khaleel mosque where about 80 persons were praying peacefully.
The police apparently sought to chase certain youth into the said mosque and then initiated an indiscriminate attack upon the mosque. The police launched an attack of stones and teargas through and above the slats of the mosque gate, causing havoc and confusion.
When the infuriated youth retaliated with intermittent stone pelting, the leaders of the community were brought in by the police to calm the situation. It was during this time, that the former mayor of Mangaluru was hurt on the head by the police which again aggravated the situation.
At this point, the police began indiscriminate firing of guns and teargas. Two innocent bystanders were killed during this firing, both of which took place on Azizuddin Road, where the Mangaluru North Police Station is located.
One of them was a 42-year old father of two and daily wage earner on the docks, who had stepped out of his house to offer Namaz. There was no mob present, yet tear gas and bullets was being fired into the road, one of which hit Abdul Jaleel in the head.
In another incident on another end of Azizuddin Road, 23-year old Nausheen who was attempting to return home from the workshop he was working at, fell prey to the blind and indiscriminate firing when a bullet hit him in his midriff.
The Highland Hospital where many of the seriously injured were admitted, reported that there were 5 persons admitted with bullet and shell linked injuries.
Both were declared dead when they were on arrival by the Highland Hospital. Jaleel and Nausheen’s families filed complaints with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the hospital administration filed a complaint and wanted action to be taken against the responsible personnel but no action was taken in this regard.
However, the police even attacked the Highland Hospital demanding that the bodies be handed over to them as they were Medico Legal Cases (MLCs). The police upon arrival at the hospital were faced by an angry group of mourners, who pelted stones at the police outside the hospital.
 All the CCTV DVRs were taken away by the police allegrdly in an attempt by the police to cover their tracks
The police engaged in lathi charge outside the hospital. They did not stop there. The police then fired tear gas within the hospital compound and proceeded to storm the hospital. They tried to barge into patient rooms including the ICU.
Dr Rajeshwari Devi, district medical officer, Wenlock Hospital, informed that on December 19, 66 people were treated in the OPD of which 26 were civilians and 42 were police persons. Police continued to get treatment from the OPD till December 22.
Apparently there were conscious attempts on the part of the police to make it appear that the number of policemen injured by the alleged stone pelting by the mob outnumbered civilians who suffered injuries from violence by police.
The cases of police treated in Wenlock were mostly related to bruises, lacerations, contusions and swelling. There were two cases of bullet injuries in which one of the victims admitted took discharge immediately.
On December 20, 2019, too, the police beat up people who came out of the masjid after their offering their prayers. The curfew had been lifted during those hours (12:00 PM to 2:00 PM) and when the people questioned the police as to why they were beaten up, the police simply said that they did not know of the curfew being revoked.
The police also targeted shops and street stalls owned by the Muslim community. Some open FIRs mention the accused as ‘Unknown Muslim Youth’. The attack on the masjid and people coming out of the masjid, that all who were admitted either for bullet/shell injuries and severe injuries due to lathi charge even on those alighting from buses, were all Muslim indicates that the police force has been communalized.
Within 2 days of the incidents, all the CCTV DVRs have been taken away by the police. Based on the criticism that the police have already faced, it is alleged that this was done in an attempt by the police to cover their tracks. Similarly, on the matter of the internet ban, it appears that it was done only to prevent videos about the police violence from being circulated.
---
Click HERE to read full report

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.