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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Another Army Jawan hospitalized after alleged assault by Kerala Police

Another complaint of Kerala Police using brutal third-degree tactics on a serving Indian Army jawan was reported from Kayamkulam on the Alappuzha/Kollam border. It is alleged that the dreaded Pacha Velicham (Green Light) group is behind this atrocity too.  

Monish Mohanan, a soldier stationed on the Kashmir border, was brutally beaten at the Kayamkulam police station. Monish is posted with the 17th Madras Regiment (the oldest in the Indian Army) and had come home on leave. The incident happened on December 27. 

Monish was pushed around, shoved to the ground, and kicked at various parts of his body. As per The Karma News report, the brutality was led by Kayamkulam Station House Officer (SHO) Circle-Inspector (CI) Muhammed Shafi, lady officer Shaheena, and police officers Shahjahan, Harris, and Sub-Inspector (SI) Muralidharan.  

Monish has injuries to his spine, navel, and waist. When the beatings began, the jawan cried out loud that he was suffering from back pain. The police officers yelled back that Monish should not work in the Army with this waist in the future. The jawan said they then began raining blows and kicks to his waist. 

The soldier had 30 days of advanced annual leave and came to Kerala for his wife’s medical treatment. He attended temple festivities at Govindamuttam Sreedharmasastha Kshethram in Kayamkulam to enjoy a Nadan Pattu (folk song) program. There was a dispute with the police regarding using a microphone after 10 pm at the temple festival. 

It is alleged that this is what triggered the police atrocities. The police allegedly beat Monish inside the temple courtyard on the night of December 27. The visuals of the assault are said to be available, where a group of policemen is seen kicking and beating up devotees, with some devotees apparently hitting back. Not content with this, a police team reached Monish’s home later that night and allegedly assaulted him in front of his family. 

Policemen from Kayamkulam station asked Monish whether he had evolved enough to oppose a Kerala Police SI. They promised to finish his ‘military game’, dragged him into a waiting police jeep, and took the serving jawan to the police station that night. There, in front of his relatives and brothers, the soldier was allegedly subjected to third-degree police atrocities at the station.

Kerala police atrocities against the soldier did not end there. They charged Monish with assaulting the SI and remanded him. The information is now being shared after the soldier’s release from jail.

He was released on bail on January 4 and got admitted to the Haripad government hospital. The duty doctor reported his injuries, but the police did not record them. Hospital authorities reportedly did not allow him a bed, and a soldier who guards our nation was seen lying on the hospital floor. This insult was allegedly done at the behest of Shafi.

Military officers from Monish’s regiment arrived and shifted their jawan to the military hospital at Thiruvananthapuram. Media reports suggested that CI Shafi, who beat up Monish, is an activist of the Social Democratic Party of India SDPI. SDPI is the political wing of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI). SDPI was not banned and continues to operate openly in Kerala.

Moreover, information has come out that it is allegedly the same CI Shafi who intervened in the march by Army veterans protesting against the earlier incident of harassment of serving Army soldier Vishnu in Kilikollur police station, and created chaos by tearing down their banner. Videos emerged of Shafi and other policemen (some were not even in khaki) pushing, shoving, abusing, and threatening a protest march organized by veteran Army jawans, many of whom had won gallantry awards.

Seven people, including the soldier, were remanded in Kayamkulam. But Monish told the media that the case was deliberately fabricated to hide the fact that he was brutally beaten at the station. Monish, who was injured in the thrashing, is undergoing treatment. He added that the assault happened after hiding the CCTVs to avoid being caught like in Kilikollur.

“The incident took place on the night of the 27th. They have not yet taken action against those who (actually) hit the police in the temple. The seven people detained, including me, are innocent. I was produced in court on the 28th at half past seven. Until then, I had to face brutal beatings at the police station.” 

“I was bent over, kicked, and punched in the back to break my neck. The police officers wanted me to fall at the feet of the SI named Muralidharan, who claimed I harassed him. I was made to bow down to apologize while the rest of the policemen punched and kicked me, saying that it was you who hit the SI,” said Monish.

Kerala police did not obey the procedure to be followed while recording the arrest of a soldier. They did not inform the nearest military station before or after arresting Monish. He was behind bars at the Mavelikkara sub-jail for eight days.

Ananthapuri Soldiers Welfare and Charity Organisation which helps soldiers and veterans with their issues, have sought a report on a complaint lodged with the DGP. Monish has also filed a complaint against the Kayamkulam police to the Chief Minister and DGP.

Such attacks by the Kerala Police against the Bharatiya military and jawans are increasing like no other state. Former military officers alleged that the radicalization of Kerala police is so entrenched that there is no option other than disbanding the entire force. Some compare them to similar atrocities seen in Kashmir during the 1980s-90s. 

Incidentally, Kerala Police do not have any issues during Muslim festivals when prayers and festivities happen well into the night until dawn. If this is not the Talibanization of local police, then we are not sure what is. Allegedly, most media houses shunned the incident, fearing police backlash. 

There are allegations that such moves from a particular section of the Kerala Police follow a clear agenda. They are targeting soldiers guarding the country and using third-degree torture to discourage them. State government apathy towards such cases is not helping boost the morale of jawans from Kerala.

Kilikolloor Police Station Assault on Army Soldier

In October, five Kerala police officers from the Kilikolloor police station in the Kollam district were suspended for assaulting a serving Indian Army soldier named Vishnu (30) and his brother Vignesh (25). The accused police officers included Station House Officer Vinod K, Sub Inspector Anish Mohammed AP, Assistant Sub Inspector Prakash Chandran, Civil Police Officer (CPO), Manikanthan Pillai, and Omanakuttan.

The incident happened in August 2022 when Vishnu, an Army soldier posted in Rajasthan, came back on leave to get married. Vignesh and Vishnu were subjected to custodial torture, thrashed by the Kerala Police, and falsely implicated in a fabricated drug case. The soldier was so severely beaten that he had to undergo treatment at the hospital. 

Anish Mohd. threatened Vishnu that he would damage his shooting finger and consequently leave him unable to pull a trigger. The alleged Popular Front of India (PFI) worker showed his true colors when he told Vishnu that he would only salute the soldier when he came home in a body bag from the border. When Vignesh requested water to drink, the officers instructed the brothers to consume their urine. 

Police claimed that the two Hindu men, who came to meet the accused in an MDMA drug trafficking case, ‘broke into the police station and assaulted the officers.’ Mohd. allegedly spread this fake news, invited the press, and released photos of the brothers, claiming they had broken the law. CCTV evidence, finally made public, refuted the police’s assertion that the brothers were the ones who started the violence.

The CCTV footage clearly showed that it was SI Anish Mohd. who first slapped the soldier. The brothers were stripped and dragged into the police lockup, where the assault continued. Not only were the brothers tortured at the police station, but they were also placed under judicial detention for 12 days.

Vishnu was on leave for his wedding when the police wrongfully charged him in the narcotics case, and his marriage was called off. He had been in love with a lady for almost six years and Anish Mohd. destroyed the relationship with a single blow. Vignesh had cleared the physicals to join the Kerala Police, but he became ineligible because of physical disabilities due to the brutal assault.

Kerala Police initially tried to hush up the incident by merely transferring the criminal police officers to different police stations. Sources suggest that the erring officers have deep links with the banned terrorist outfit, the Popular Front of India (PFI). It was alleged that police higher-ups in the PFI-linked Pacha Velicham (Green Light) group tried their best to hide the crime but failed. The accused police officers were suspended from service only after the Army intervened and sought a report from the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police (DGP) about the incident. 

Defense minister Rajnath Singh ordered a detailed inquiry based on the complaint filed by the family of the soldier Vishnu. BJP MP from Karnataka and Minister of State for Skill Development entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, himself a Keralite, assured necessary help to Vishnu’s family. Babus in Delhi either forgot the incident or suppressed it, and no news appeared after the initial drama following massive public protests.

The latest atrocity reminded citizens of Green Light and terrorist sleeper cell infiltration in the Kerala Police. There is an urgent need for investigation by military intelligence agencies into such incidents. The least that can be done is that inquiries into such cases should be taken away from the Kerala Police and probed by police officers from neighboring states. Only then will justice be served. 

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