Mangalore, Jan 23: A 65-year-old physically challenged man, who had come to the city from Maharashtra for medical treatment, was alleged tortured by Mangalore police and sent to prison on charges of “suspicious behaviour”.
Noor Muhammad, a small trader, was picked up by the sleuths of Mangalore North Police Station on January 13, a day after he arrived in the city after being referred for treatment at a private hospital here. He spent more than a week in Mangalore prison, after allegedly being stripped and beaten up by the police.
“I cough out blood and the doctor said here I could get subsidized treatment”, says an ailing Muhammad, who has a rod inserted in his leg after a severe fracture 18 years ago.
After reaching Mangalore, he visited a Darga in Kasargod and camped in front of Badriya Jumma Masjid in Bunder. At around two policemen, who failed to understand him, as he was speaking Hindi, took him to the station.
“Though I clarified them that I travelled hundreds of kilometres for treatment, they started abusing me, accusing me of coming here for nefarious activities. They pushed me around and threatened me not to come to Karnataka again,” said a highly diabetic Muhammad.
“When I said that being an Indian, I don’t need permission to travel within India, they assaulted me, stripped me down and kicked me multiple times,” he explained.
The next day, he was produced in court and was remanded in 14-day judicial custody.
Muhammad was finally released on Tuesday on bail, after DYFI leader Muneer Katipalla arranged for a lawyer on his behalf.
However, Mangalore North Police inspector Manjunath Shetty denied allegations of abusing and physical assault. “We took him to station for questioning on a suspicion that he may have stolen something. He failed to give proper reason when we asked him why he came here from Maharashtra”, he said.