KOCHI: Normal life was affected by the hartal called by all political parties in Cheranalloor on Friday, in protest against the alleged torture of a housemaid by the police.
The hartal was total. The protestors alleged that after the Emergency, such a barbarous act was never reported in the history of the country.
The woman, who was working at a doctor’s house as a housemaid, was arrested by the police last week on suspicion that she had stolen gold from the house.
“They subjected her to third-degree torture. Her spine was fractured, and her uterus was damaged. Though she was bleeding profusely, the women police officials hardly did anything to help her. When the protest against the torture intensified, a sub-inspector and a women police officer were transferred. But, seven more police officials were involved in the crime. The authorities should take action against them too,” said All-party Committee secretary Subhash.
He said that if the authorities hesitate to take action the protest would be extended to the other parts of the State. The protesters alleged that an attempt was on to shift the victim to the medical college, though the General Hospital is well-equipped to treat her. Meanwhile, Police Complaint Authority chairman Justice K T Narayana Kurup visited the police station. He had also visited the woman a couple of days ago, and had recorded her statement.
According to the victim’s statement, one day the doctor’s wife asked her to meet a sub-inspector and a woman police officer who had visited the house. The cops slapped her on the cheek, and took her to the police station. At the station, they rubbed chilly powder in her eyes and tortured her brutally. Finally, she was left with no other option but to confess to having stolen gold from the house.
Ratheesh, the woman’s husband said that her situation was deteriorating day-by-day. “She is growing weaker each day, and she is not able to sit erect. Now, we are waiting for the report of her head scan,” he said. Justice Narayana Kurup said that there was violation of human rights, prima facie.
“There is no reason to disbelieve the statement given by the woman. But, it is liable to change after hearing the police’s version,” he said.
“The police officials could have collected more evidence after the theft occurred. They could have checked her house and tracked her phone conversations. They just reacted on an impulse,” Justice Kurup said, and added that action could be taken against the other seven police officials only after the report is submitted.