‘You will be watched further,’ Bengaluru police threaten social worker

The police issued the threat after the social worker and others requested not to include the address of a witness in the interest of privacy.

ByNolan Patrick Pinto

Published May 16, 2024 | 12:48 PMUpdatedMay 16, 2024 | 3:12 PM

Bengaluru City Police Logo

A Bengaluru-based social worker took to X to share an experience he had with the Kengeri police.

In a series of posts on X, he explained the ordeal he faced on Wednesday, 15 May. His assisting a victim was met with veiled threats from the Kengeri police.

The police, who made the veiled threat on X, later deleted the post.

The social worker, who goes by the name St. Broseph, wrote that he along with a few others had visited the Assistant Commissioner of Police’s Kengeri Gate office “for a young girl’s case of stalking, voyeurism, threats of sending her nude pictures to her father, etc.”.

Big brother is watching!

He said the threat came after the visit.

The deleted post.

The deleted post.

“We have registered a case and investigating the same, you can’t demand unusual actions from police, which are legally tenable in the investigation procedure. Your unwanted expressions of police legal action on this X platform, will be watched further,” a post from the handle, @AcpKengeri warned.

The social worker responded to the police “threat”.

“Thank you sir, so far I used to only receive such warnings from criminals. My “unwanted” freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. I am not commenting on your investigation but on our experience, which even @CPBlr sir encourages us to do.”

He further added, “There’s nothing unusual or unreasonable about requesting the police to protect a witness by using an alternative address in her statement, which she herself guaranteed that she will be responsible for. All that we need is for you to look out for the witness + victim.”

He wrote that it would be better if the police, “provide us the appropriate reference and educate us instead of issuing such warnings and threats”.

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The police station incident

This is what happened at the Kengeri Police Station after they met the Inspector.

A young girl who was a witness in the case, requested the police to keep her address private. “We agreed to let her use our address for purposes of her witness statement & court correspondence,” the social worker tweeted.

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‘Law no bar’

But the issue began there. He alleged that the Kengeri Police Station Inspector Kotresh had a “HUGE” problem with that request. The inspector “kept arguing to discourage our female social workers. After this, ACP sir also agreed with him.”

The social worker informed the police that, “as per Witness Protection laws, the police can even empower victims to change their identities altogether, and in spirit of protecting the witness, a different address can be used”.

The Inspector allegedly “100% disagreed and told us that only what he decides will happen”.

Another person, identified as Sumanth, who was present, wrote on X.

“I was present right before this happened and the inspector literally told “we will write what we want for the investigation. Do you think law will apply here? Law is only when you are in the court”. These are the people responsible for your protection apparently.”

What does the rule say?

The social worker claimed he checked the CrPC and also the Evidence Act but could not find any mention of the Aadhaar card address being compulsory in witness statements.

He further wrote that the woman, “even provided Aadhaar card as proof of her identity, but just didn’t want to receive letters on that address.”

St. Broseph requested in his posts guidance regarding whether, “any such rule (that the Hon. ACP sir was mentioning) exists, and please reference the same”.

He also mentioned that the Inspector’s conduct was not befitting of a Bengaluru City Police officer.

The social worker tagged the DGP, City Police Commissioner and DCP West for help.

Police sources told South First that the post on X was written by Basavaraj Teli, ACP Kengeri without consulting anybody. The police claimed that it was his first city posting. It was also said that after deleting the post, the ACP was admonished.

(Edited by Majnu Babu)