Haroon narrates brutality of Chennai police after he denied bribe

CHENNAI: A 22-year-old youth was allegedly brutally beaten up by Chennai police for refusing to pay bribe.

The incident took place on Friday night of 19th of July around 11.30 pm when the victim identified as Haroon Sait along with two of his friends returning from another friend’s marriage reception. He was alone on his Activa scooter.

Narrating the ordeal, Haroon on his Facebook post wrote that when they reached Spurtank road, Chetpet, Chennai, they were stopped by some police officers for their routine checking.

Despite producing the copy of RC book, the Sub-Inspector insist on producing the original copy and indirectly harassed and compelled him to pay a bribe of 300 rupees like his friends did for riding without license.

When Haroon was firm not to pay, the officer got infuriated and slapped him hard followed by beat with sticks (lathi) which only stopped until he apologized him 10 times. His wrist was  severely swollen.

Here’s Haroon Facebook post :

Police Brutality in Chennai – Share as much as possible

My name is Muhammad Haroon Sait. I am a 22-year-old undergraduate student. The previous night, on the 19th of July, around 11.30 pm, my two friends and I were returning from a marriage reception of another close friend, and we were stopped by some police officers as part of their routine checking on Spurtank road, Chetpet, Chennai.

My two friends were riding one Activa scooter and i was alone on my Activa scooter. My friend who was riding his scooter did not have his license with him and was demanded a bribe of 300 rupees, which he very respectfully paid to a constable as instructed by Sub-Inspector M.H Ilayaraja of Chetpet police station, who was heading the checking process there.

He was not given a receipt and clearly paid a bribe. When my license and copy of RC book were checked, the sub-inspector demanded me to produce the original RC book, which I obviously did not have at the moment and only had a copy. The sub-inspector insisted on me producing the original copy, by which he was indirectly harassing me and compelling me to pay a bribe like my friends did. I was firm that I will not pay a bribe.

By now it was around 12 am, I called my parents, informed the that the police were checking us and told them that I would reach home in another half hour. I told the sub-inspector M.H. Ilayaraja that it is very late for me and I need to get back home.

I gave him my scooter key and told him to take my scooter to the police station, on the condition that he gives me a receipt in reference to taking my scooter. I told him that I would come with the original documents in the morning and take back my scooter.

This enfuriated him and he slapped me so hard that my spectacles flew on the ground, and he starting whacking me with a beat stick (lathi) continuously. I cried out in pain and fear to the five constables who were with him to stop him but they stood idle as mute spectators to this entire event. This made him more angry and he kept swinging the wooden stick till I apologized to him around 10 times and he finally stopped.

By this time, my left wrist had severely swollen and I took out my phone to call my parents and inform them of the situation. He snatched my phone on the excuse of taking me to the police station for medical aid and he told me that I as not allowed to call anyone. He also snatched the mobile phones of my two friends, so that they would not call anyone either.

He then told one of the constables to take me and my bike to the Chetpet police station and by the time I reached the police station he had informed the officer in the station to make me sit on a bench and not to allow me to make any calls.

On reaching the station, I was persistent that i want to make a call home since my hands are swollen, bleeding little and there were bruise-pains all over my body. Two other officers came up to me and started harassing me, accusing me of speaking rudely with the sub-inspector and just would not allow me to make a call. By now it was past 1 am, and my father suspiciously called one of my uncles, who stays nearby Spurtank road.

He came hurriedly to the police checking spot and took cognizance of the situation. He took my friends, who were meanwhile being held up in-spite of paying the bribe, and finally reached the Chetpet police station. Shortly later, my father along with some of my cousins reached the police station, after being informed of what had happened. By now it was around 1.30 am and I was being harassed without being given any medical aid up untill everyone showed up and it was an embarrassing situation for the entire police station.

I never saw sub-inspector Ilayarja after that. I was taken to the nearest Dr.Mehta’s hospital and diagnosed, and the doctor there admitted me shorlty later, owing to the injuries I had incurred. The doctor told me to stay strong and informed me that this was the second incident of police brutality, in the recent days, and told me that the previous case was silenced and ended in a compromise. I stayed there the entire night and the next day morning many police officers visited my room number 307, talked friendly and tried to persuade us to compromise the case.

Simultaneously, without us knowing, they were pressurizing the hospital management to discharge me from the hospital. Around 11 am in the morning, the hospital staff started telling us that my health is fine and the wounds will soon recover, and were convincing us to discharge from the hospital. We stood firm and told the staff that we will not leave unless complaint is registered and that we would give a written complaint after the Friday congregational prayer.

At around 3 pm, we handed over a written complaint to the police officers, who were the entire time roaming around my room. After giving them the written complaint, there is not one police officer who has met us and there are no police officers around our room ever since. We are also suspecting that the hospital is manupulating my diagnosis documentation, under the pressure of the Chetpet police department.

We have decided that we will leave the hospital only if they give us the correct diagnosis documentation, covering all the aspects of the injury, and after receiving an acknowledgement of the written complaint from the police department. We have also decided to pursue this issue legally to make sure that not only SI Ilayaraja is punished, but also to make sure that this does not happen with anyone else.

As a victim of the corrupt police system and as a victim of police brutality, I leave you with the responsibility of sharing this news as much as possible using your media platforms, so that we can together, at a longer run, achieve a society which is anti-corrupt, and is based on justice, equality and accountability of every citizen.