Civil Society in Karnataka condemn the brutal police violence against protestors outside the Uppinangady Police Station in Mangaluru on the night of 14 December 2021.
It is reported that a large number of Muslims including women and youth and members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), had gathered outside the police station during the day protesting against the detention of PFI leaders, which they believed was illegal. From all reports this was peaceful the entire time.
Videos show that the ensuing lathi charge was brutal and several people were injured. Several of them were hospitalized and it is reported that 2 persons were required to be admitted in the ICU. Videos reveal that the police personnel chased and tried to thrash the ambulance.
This police violence is in gross violation of the law, including the boundaries within which the police are required to dispel crowds. It is pertinent to note that the police resorted to the use of violence without a complete and effective dispersement plan. The Supreme court in Anita Thakur v. State of J & K (2016) 15 SCC 525 unequivocally held that use of excessive force to disperse crowds by the police is an assault on the dignity of individuals.
We demand that the police should be held accountable for the excessive use of force by lathi charge immediately. We demand for a judicial enquiry into the use of violence against protestors. We also demand that an FIR must be registered and disciplinary inquiries must be initiated against the police officials. The Karnataka government should take financial responsibility for the treatment of the injured protestors through a victim compensation scheme.
It is also necessary to note that there has been a communal continuum at play in Dakshina Kannada, and the complicit role of the police in this cannot be ignored. The State Government must initiate trainings of Dakshina Kannada Police to reinvigorate constitutional and pluralistic values of Karnataka to address these police excesses in the region.
Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development
We the Women Mangalore
Hate Speech Beda
Defend Democracy Karnataka
All India Lawyers Association for Justice
All India Students Association
Health for All