A couple in Karnataka’s Bengaluru was on Thursday midnight allegedly harassed by policemen who forced them to pay Rs 1,000 through payment app PayTm for ‘breaking the law’ by walking on the street near their home after 11 pm, which they said wasn’t allowed. The couple was walking home from a birthday cake-cutting event.
In a Twitter thread, a man named Karthik Patri narrated his ordeal, and requested the Bengaluru City Commissioner of Police for help.
“I would like to share a traumatic incident my wife and I encountered the night before. It was around 12:30 midnight. My wife and I were walking back home after attending a friend’s cake-cutting ceremony (We live in a society behind Manyata Tech park),” Mr Patri started, and when on to detail the incident in a series of 15 tweets.
I would like to share a traumatic incident my wife and I encountered the night before. It was around 12:30 midnight. My wife and I were walking back home after attending a friend’s cake-cutting ceremony (We live in a society behind Manyata Tech park). (1/15)
— Karthik Patri (@Karthik_Patri) December 9, 2022
He said they were a few metres away from their entrance gate when a patrol van stopped near them, and two men in police uniforms demanded they show their ID cards. “We were taken aback. Why should an adult couple walking on the street on a normal day be asked to show their ID cards?” he said.
The couple showed pictures of their Aadhaar cards to the police, after which they confiscated their phones and quizzed them on personal details.
“Though a bit shaken, we answered their questions politely. At this point, one of them took out what looked like a challan book and started noting down our names and Aadhaar numbers. Sensing trouble, we asked why we were being issued a challan,” he added.
One of the policemen told them they are not allowed to “roam on the road” after 11 pm. Though unconvinced that there was such a rule, the couple decided not to escalate the situation as it was late in the night and their phones had been seized, Karthik Patri said.
The couple apologised for being unaware of such a rule, but the police refused to let them go, and demanded Rs 3,000 as penalty, Mr Patri claimed.
“It was clear as day that the two men (tragic if they were indeed policemen) were out to con unsuspecting civilians, and we ended up being their victims. We literally begged them to let us go, but they wouldn’t budge. The more we pleaded, the harsher they became, even threatening to arrest us. It was as if we were stuck in quicksand – the more we struggled, the deeper we sunk. This continued for a long time, until the harassment became unbearable,” he said, adding that the policemen threatened them of dire consequences if they didn’t pay up.
“I could barely hold my nerve, while my wife was in tears. Perhaps realizing that they had pushed a woman too far and fearing the legal consequences, they changed tack,” he added.
One of the policemen then took the husband away and “advised” that he pay a minimum amount to avoid further trouble. Mr Patri said he agreed to pay Rs 1,000, which the policeman asked him to send it to him through PayTm.
” The man immediately held up a PayTM QR code, waited for me to scan it and make the payment, and let us ago with a stern warning,” he said.
The police took note of the incident and appealed to the people to approach them if they have faced similar instances.
Anoop A Shetty, Deputy Commissioner of Police, North East Division, Bengaluru City, responded to the Twitter thread, thanking Mr Patri for bringing it to their notice, and assured him of stern action.
“They will be identified and stern action will be taken against them,” he said.
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