Published: 03rd August 2019
Four months on, action against Kerala cop who harassed Dalit student for having 'unusual figure'
Dinu K, an MA student at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit was called an 'unusual figure' and was treated like a miscreant a few months back
Four months have passed, but Dinu K would never forget the night of April 3. A master's student at the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, he was ill-treated by two patrolling policemen. He says that he was called an 'unusual figure' and wasn't allowed to enter the university's campus. After months of legal battle, finally, on August 1, Dinu finally received a response from the Kerala Police saying that the Assistant Sub Inspector who allegedly harassed Dinu will face disciplinary actions.
However, the letter doesn't specify what action will be taken. The case was investigated by the Ernakulam District Rural Crime Branch DYSP, following a writ petition submitted in the High Court. Dinu's co-petitioners here include Rohit Vemula's mother Radhika Vemula and activists Bindu Vasudev and Dhanya Madhav.
Dinu was unsurprisingly happy about the response. But the path to this wasn't a cakewalk for this Dalit student. His initial petition was closed by the Perumbavoor DYSP who first investigated the case, saying that the harassment did not happen. Following this, he submitted the writ petition. Also, Radhika Vemula wrote an email to the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan about the same.
"It isn't fair if the police investigate a case against a fellow police officer. They are bound to be biased," says Dinu. "At the same time, I'm happy about this response. Very rarely do police officers face disciplinary actions in cases like these," he says. He adds that his friends who had gone to the DYSP Perumbavoor's office to give their statement were unnecessarily questioned.
Dinu adds that what he faced on that night wasn't uncommon. "Another student from my university was also threatened by the police a few days before this. Also, a lot of transgenders face similar sort of harassment regularly," he says.