CHENNAI: “I WILL shoot your father and you will become a beggar.” This is how a police officer allegedly threatened a 10-year-old girl to force her to reveal her father’s whereabouts. The police were looking for him in a criminal case.
“I woke up and found my mother crying as two policemen were shouting at her. When I came out of the room, one of the policemen pulled my hand and asked me where my father was. He told me to call my father’s mobile. When I told him it was switched off he threatened to shoot my father and said I would become a beggar. He also told my mother and me to come to the police station the next morning,” Olive Mary, a class V student told Express, recalling the harrowing experience late night on May 14.
However, P Jawahar, the inspector who led the team, denied the allegations and said he was not even aware of the presence of the child. He said the parents were making allegations with an ulterior motive.
According to the family, a team from the Thiruvanmiyur station entered the house at around 12.20 am asking for S Jayakumar, the girl’s father.
“They knocked the door really hard. I walked up to the door to find two policemen in uniform and two in civil clothes with the police jeep right in front of my doorstep shouting at me to open the door,” recalls Kayalvazhi, Jayakumar’s wife.
“They asked about my husband and within seconds after I opened the gate, four policemen barged into the house looking for my husband in all the rooms. When they could not find him, they cornered my daughter,” says the mother.
Kayalvazhi says that her daughter is still in trauma caused by the policemen’s rough handling.
Jayakumar, who was booked on charges of assaulting and threatening a political party functionary, has now obtained an anticipatory bail from court. The family on May 25 filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission and the Child Welfare Committee against the police team.
When contacted by Express for his comments on the allegations, the police inspector said he was not even aware of the child in the house and did not see her during the visit.
“The parents are making false allegations. I showed my identity card and asked the wife of the accused politely about his whereabouts. A women police officer was also present with the team during the search as per rules,” said inspector P Jawahar.
Protocol to conduct search of an accused
- When a person is accused of any cognizable offense, there is no need for police to go with search warrant
- Police can visit a house any time to search for the accused. But when they learn the accused is not at home, they should leave immediately and not harass family members
- In case a house to be searched is inhabited only by women, policewomen should be present