Kochi: Allen, all of seven, ducked under the table as if to avoid an uneasy stare and a weighty situation. He had, a moment ago, pointedly stated before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) that the 'uncle,' deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Kochi, Yatish Chandra had 'hit' him.
Allen had turned up at the SHRC sitting in Kochi with his parents and was fearless and collected as he made the remark against the ranking officer who had come in for flak for the use of brute force while dispersing a crowd in Kochi ahead of the prime minister's recent visit to the state.
Allen was not one to be deterred as Yatish Chandra, an officer of the Indian Police Service, asked him, "aara mone thalliye? Njan aano?" (Who hit you, child? Was it I?) Allen pointed his finger at the officer and said, 'yes.' The officer told the commission that Allen had come 'prepared' and no one was harmed or assaulted.
He said the police was used only 'measured force' to disperse a mob which could have impeded the trial run of the prime minister's motorcade. The officer, who argued the case without a lawyer, said no one was assaulted. Playing the CCTV visuals on a laptop, he said women and children were 'smiling and happy.' The people who took part in the protest vociferously complained that the police was indeed using force wantonly and were assaulting people with utter disregard to human rights, democratic principles, and factors like age and sex. The complainants' general refrain was that the police and the officer handled the protesters, who were on a livelihood agitation, like extremists or subversive elements.
The commission has sought all available visuals of the incident and will hear the case again next month.