Published: 05th April 2019
I was petrified: How Kerala Dalit student felt after police harassed him for having an 'unusual figure'
Dinu K, a Dalit activist, is a I year MA Sociology student in Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady. He was harassed by two policemen on Wednesday night
Two whole days have passed and Dinu K is still not over the shock of what happened on the night of April 3. This Dalit student-activist wonders what would have provoked two policemen on their night patrol to question him, treat him like a miscreant, pass indecent comments and not let him enter the campus of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, where he is a first-year MA Sociology student.
One of them snidely told Dinu that he is an 'unusual figure'. Dinu tells us that he was petrified. "I am going through depression and I'm seeking therapy. I'm someone who usually speaks strongly against these unjust incidents. But this time, I was horrified. I broke down right after I got back. These policemen are so powerful. They can assault you, charge a fake case. Even now, I'm accused of lying," says Dinu.
The incident took place on Wednesday night, when Dinu was returning to Kalady, where the university is located, after watching a film. "I was having a sip of water from the bottle that I had. Suddenly, two policemen stopped me and asked if I was drunk. I said that I'm sober," he narrates. "The policeman suddenly started asking me for my family details and started noting it down. I told them my father's name and then it occurred to me that something was unusual and asked them what that was for. But they told me that if I question them further, they'd arrest me. They started talking to me in an indecent tone," he adds.
Later, a policeman even slapped him on his shoulder, he says. "When they wanted to see my ID card I sought their permission to go inside the hostel to get it, but they didn't let me in. I tried to call a friend, but my phone was out of balance," he says. Later, a friend of Dinu's who passed by asked the policemen what was wrong and they said that Dinu 'looks like an unusual figure'. An hour later, he was let go.
Dinu has now lodged a complaint against the policemen with the Kalady ASP M Hemalatha. "She said that the officers will apologise, but I want to move things legally. Even at her office, while I was waiting for the complaint receipt, another police officer misbehaved with me. The policemen, on the other hand, have said that they haven't done anything," he says.
He also says that this incident wasn't the first of its kind and that students of his university are regularly harassed by the police. "A few days ago, another student from my university was threatened by the police. He had gone to the library, which is close to the hostel. The policemen accused him of indulging in immoral activities inside the reading room," says Dinu. The students have also submitted a complaint to the Vice Chancellor stating the same.
The Kerala State Youth Commission has also registered a case. "We received the complaint yesterday. We have asked the district police chief to investigate soon and submit a report in the next seven days. Once we receive the report, we can take further action," says Chintha Jerome, the KSY Commission Chairperson.