A police sub-inspector in Chikkamagaluru has been accused of forcing a Dalit man, who was in custody, to drink urine. The matter came to light after the 22-year-old man wrote to officials and sought action against the sub-inspector.
Punith KL was arrested by the Gonibeedu Police on May 10 after villagers accused him of causing trouble between a couple. A report in The Hindu quoted Punith saying that he was beaten by the police for a couple of hours after they took him into custody. When he asked for water, the sub-inspector refused and allegedly forced another person in lock-up to urinate on Punith.
Punith told Mahanayaka, a Kannada news outlet, that Chetan, who was arrested in a theft case, initially refused to urinate on him, but was allegedly threatened with torture if he did not comply. He also alleged that police officers made him lick the urine drops on the floor. The police also subjected him to verbal abuse and tried to make him give a false confession, he alleged. Punith said that he felt humiliated as there was no formal complaint against him. He was released by the police at 10.30pm on May 10.
Chikkamagaluru Superintendent of Police Akshay Hakay has ordered a preliminary inquiry into the incident. Punith’s statement has since been recorded. According to The Hindu, the SP said sub-inspector has been transferred from the police station following the preliminary investigation. However, further action is pending the departmental inquiry.
A writer, freelance columnist Raghothama Hoba tweeted about the incident. His tweet was shared by many including actor Chetan Kumar with the hashtags #JusticeforPunith and #ArrestPSIArjun.