DYFI activist rams vehicle on SI, released as gang lays siege on police station

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Thiruvananthapuram: Activists of the DYFI ganged up in their bid to forcibly release a biker who reportedly knocked down a cop during vehicle inspection. The youth activists of the CPM picketed the Poonthura Police Station on Tuesday midnight even as superior police officers pressured the station authorities to release the culprit. The incident has reportedly caused wide-spread dissatisfaction among the police force.

It is alleged that even though the accused was at first charged with non-bailable offences, the complaint filed by the injured sub-inspector K. Shailendra Prasad was not accepted by the police following pressure from senior police officers. The injured SI is now on leave for one week.

It was around 9 p.m. on Tuesday that a team led by Prasad was conducting inspections of vehicles as part of ‘Operation Bolt’ launched by the City Police Commissioner to crack down on the drug mafia. Praveen, the accused, happened to drive by in a scooter without wearing a helmet. As the police waved him to stop, Praveen is reported to have slowed down, let the pillion rider get off and tried to take a U-turn for returning. The scooter hit the SI’s leg as the officer was trying to stop the vehicle. The accused did not stop the scooter even though the SI’s dress and whistle guard got entangled in the vehicle. The SI got dragged along the road as the scooter moved forward, which caused the injuries.

The SI was rescued by an assistant SI who was standing a little away. He even forcibly stopped the scooter, following which Praveen was taken into custody.

By the time the SI had returned to the police station after receiving first aid at the hospital, the DYFI activists had arrived at the station demanding the immediate release of Praveen. However, Prasad insisted on charging a case against him, following which the Circle Inspector recorded the statements and directed for charging non-bailable offence.

However, within a short time, a larger group of CPI-M and DYFI activists arrived at the station and threatened the police personnel at the station. As the situation got tense, Narcotic Cell Assistant Commissioner Pradeep Kumar, the in-charge of night patrol, and Valiya Thura CI Sherry reached the spot.

Even though the Assistant Commissioner exerted pressure upon the SI to withdraw his complaint, Prasad refused to comply. Later, the police charged a case for negligent driving against Praveen and released him on the surety of two individuals.

At the same time, City Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Gurudin informed that an inquiry had proved that Praveen had not hit Prasad deliberately with the scooter but that it was only an accident. Cases have been charged against more than 100 recognisable persons for picketing the police station and for threatening the police personnel. The police have received the video footage of the offence.

The Commissioner said that further inquiry will be conducted into the issue.

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