Kerala HC again lashes out at woman cop's rude behaviour towards girl
Kochi, December 6, 2021
For the third time in the past two weeks, the Kerala High Court on Monday hauled up a Pink Police official of the state police for her callous behaviour towards an eight-year-old girl and her father whom she accused of stealing her mobile phone and shamed publicly.
Losing its cool, the court wanted to find out what the state government had done for the young girl and asked counsel to come with its reply on December 15.
Slamming the woman police official, it asked if she too doesn't have children and wanted to know if there were any cases registered on this incident by other agencies.
It also pulled up the the state police chief for trying his best to protect the 'khaki', saying that "this is being seen more often these days" and asking if "one can do anything when khaki is worn as an uniform".
The court was subsequently informed that the woman police official has profusely apologised to the young girl and her family for her acts and she too is a mother of three children and is the breadwinner of her family.
The court, while appreciating this, said that whether this had to be accepted or not is left to the young girl and the family.
It also pointed out that the court will continue asking questions and justice has to be given to the aggrieved.
Reacting to the apology being rendered, the young girl's father said they are deeply hurt.
"Starting from the next day of this incident, we knocked on all doors starting from the higher police officials, state police chief and the Chief Minister, but we did not get any justice from anywhere and that is how we decided to move the court and here, we got justice. Now let the court decide as we are not accepting the apology from the woman police official," said the girl's father Jayachandran.
The girl had approached the High Court seeking Rs 5 million as compensation for the ordeal she was made to undergo.
On November 19, while hearing the petition, the court went hammer and tongs at the woman police official for her behaviour and in the next hearing, the court slammed her after seeing the entire visuals of her behaviour with the girl and her father.
The court said seeing the visuals, one felt mentally disturbed as the woman police official failed to see the age of the young girl and the worse was that she is a woman, too.
The Pink Police unit of the Kerala Police is an all-women police team that aims at protecting women in public, private, and digital spaces.
In her petition, the girl stated that despite several pleas, no action was taken against the woman police officer, hence they moved the court for justice.
She stated that following public shaming, she went into a state of shock and had to undergo counselling sessions. The episode continues to haunt her, her petition read.
The incident occurred on August 27, when 38-year-old Jayachandran and his daughter were out on the main road in the outskirts here near Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram to watch the movement of a huge trailer carrying equipment to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) there.
Suddenly Rejitha, the woman officer finding her mobile phone missing, accused Jayachandran who was standing near the police patrol vehicle, of stealing it. She even said that he must have passed the phone to his eight-year-old daughter, his accomplice.
She publicly humiliated the father and the daughter and threatened to take both of them to the nearby police station. This was witnessed by a large crowd.
Later, Rejitha found the mobile phone in the vehicle. The entire episode was filmed by an onlooker, who shared it on social media and it went viral.
On August 31, Jayachandran approached the state police chief Anil Kant seeking action against Rejitha, as his daughter was in a state of shock for being publicly admonished.
Promising action, Kant, asked South Zone IG Harshita Attaluri to conduct a probe and Rejitha was transferred.
However, it was found out that Rejitha was transferred to a more convenient location and there was actually no action taken against her.
Finding no further action in September, the family observed a day-long sit-in in front of the Kerala Secretariat protesting inaction against the woman police officer. When this also went unnoticed, the family decided to move the court.