By Shamseer Ibrahim

The Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) Kozhikod District committe had conducted a peaceful march towards the Head Post Office, Mananchira on 26th March 2016 at 10 am, protesting against the brutal lathicharge in university of Hyderabad and demanding the release of students and faculty members who were arrested. The protest also demanded the sacking of vice chancellor of HCU P.Appa Rao.

During the course of the protest, the police used excessive force and several students were beaten sustaining head injuries and seven of them had to be hospitalised. Circle Inspector of Police, Mr Pramod and sub inspector of police, Mr Rajesh of town police station were the officers who issued the order for lathi charge against the students. This lathi charge was conducted when the students were sitting peacefully on the road and their representatives were in discussion with Assistant Commissioner of Police.

A total of 25 students were arrested initially out of which 5 were minors and 3 were girls. In violation of the Juvenile Act section 30, the minors were arrested and placed with the others, their parents were not informed, the probation officer was informed, they were not provided food and water, they were denied initial treatment for their injuries sustained, they were produced at court only at 12 am almost 13 hours after they were arrested. Even the girls were beaten by the male police personnel. Although the police report does not mention that girls were involved in the below mentioned crimes, they were still made to wait until 3 am to be granted bail along with the minors.

When the leaders of SIO went to the police station to enquire about the arrests, they too were detained by citing preventive arrest and were only let off at 11 pm. Students who lost consciousness and were grievously injured were only taken to hospital; the student who is currently hospitalised in Calicut Medical College was taken there only by 5 pm.

Seventeen students are currently under remand of out which two are hospitalised. They have been charged (crime# 323/16), under Section 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 153, 283, 354, 332, 353 of IPC out of which three are non-bailable offences. As per police reports, no public property has been damaged or destroyed and this is proof of the fact that the protest was peaceful. There were no police barricades at the venue of the protest site and the police used force directly against the students without trying to block or stop the protest march. The police have fabricated reports that police personnel including female police personnel were beaten and injured by the protesters.

The police have also falsely stated in the FIR that the students raised slogans like “Down, Down Hindustan” which will obviously have drastic consequences for the students and the organisation; we have recordings which prove otherwise and that this is fabricated.

We demand the state Government to take action against the police officers involved in using excessive force, fabricating evidence, falsifying FIR and remand report and also to take the necessary steps to quash the FIR.

Shamseer Ibrahim is General Secretary, SIO Kerala