The Bengaluru City Police on Sunday, 11 December, suspended a head constable and a constable attached to the Sampigehalli police station who threatened a couple.
The two cops apparently told the couple that they were “not allowed to roam on the road after 11 pm”.
The duo also allegedly demanded ₹3,000 as a penalty and are said to have ended up extorting ₹1,000 from them on the pretext of letting them go without registering a case or making a challan.
The incident in question is believed to have happened in the early hours of Friday near a housing society, where the couple stayed, behind the Manyata Tech Park in the Nagawara region in Northeast Bengaluru.
The suspended policemen have been identified as head constable Rajeshand constable Nagesh. They were on beat patrolling duty in Nagawara that night.
The incident came to light after an individual named Karthik Patri took to social media on Friday to post about his harrowing experience with the policemen. He tagged the Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Pratap Reddy and the Bengaluru City Police handles in his post.
I would like to share a traumatic incident my wife and I encountered the night before. It was around 12:30 midnight. My wife and I were walking back home after attending a friend’s cake-cutting ceremony (We live in a society behind Manyata Tech park). (1/15)
— Karthik Patri (@Karthik_Patri) December 9, 2022
The social media handle of the Bengaluru City Police was quick to respond to the victim, asking for his contact details and the exact location details of the incident so that they could inquire into the matter.
Soon after the police received the details, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast) Division Anoop Shetty ordered an inquiry into the incident.
He is said to have learnt that the policemen involved were from the Sampigehalli Police Station, and immediately suspended them indefinitely, pending an inquiry.
Two police personnel from @sampigehallips responsible for the incident have been identified, suspended and departmental action initiated. @BlrCityPolice will not tolerate deviant behaviour from its staff. @DCPNEBCP @Karthik_Patri
— ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ನಗರ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ BengaluruCityPolice (@BlrCityPolice) December 11, 2022
Sharing his and his wife’s traumatic experience with the police, Patri revealed that it was around 12:30 am when he and his wife were walking back home from an event.
The couple was a few metres away from their entrance when a pink Hoysala patrol car stopped by them, said Patri.
Two men in police uniform descended from the vehicle and demanded to see the couple’s ID cards, he said.
“Anyway, we had nothing on us except our phones and a box of cake. Luckily, we had photos of our Aadhar cards. We promptly showed them to them. To our surprise, they took our phones away and started quizzing us about our relationship, place of work, parental details, etc [sic],” he wrote on Twitter.
“Though a bit shaken, we answered their questions politely. At this point, one of them took out what looked like a challan book and started noting down our names and Aadhaar numbers. Sensing trouble, we asked why we were being issued a challan [sic],” Kathik posted on Twitter.
One of the two policemen reportedly told the couple that they were not allowed to “roam” on the road after 11 pm.
When the couple questioned which law said that, the policemen apparently replied that “literate people” like them should know about such rules.
The couple, though unconvinced, decided to back down as it was late and their phones had been confiscated.
“There was no help in sight”, said Patri, and the last he and his wife wanted was “a confrontation with two policemen”.
The couple tried to back out of the situation by apologising and assuring the two policemen of not venturing out at night again. However, the cops refused to let them leave, and instead allegedly slapped a penalty of ₹3,000 on them.
Patri said he and his wife literally begged the cops to let them go, but they did not budge. He wrote in his Twitter thread that by this time it was clear to him that these two individuals “were out to con unsuspecting civilians”.
However, the more the couple pleaded, the harsher the cops behaved, even threatening to arrest them.
“They showed us pictures of convicts and threatened us of dire consequences if we didn’t pay up. I could barely hold my nerve, while my wife was in tears. Perhaps realizing that they had pushed a woman too far and fearing the legal consequences, they changed track [sic],” Patri stated in a tweet.
Subsequently, one of the policemen apparently took Patri aside and told him to “pay a minimum amount to avoid further trouble”.
By this time, Patri wrote, he was mentally drained and exhausted while his wife was terribly distressed, and so they paid ₹1,000.
“The policeman immediately held up a PayTM QR code, waited for me to scan it and make the payment, and let us ago with a stern warning [sic],” he said.
It was after reaching home that Patri took to social media to relate the incident and ask for justice.