Krishnaraj Rao for BeyondHeadlines
Mumbai, 13th January: In a striking display of abuse of power, Railway Protection Force (RPF) constables at Kalyan arrested journalist Rajil Menon at Kalyan on Wednesday, 8th January. It seems he was taking photos of the police dragging the accused into the Court, illegally handcuffed and tied with ropes.
The previous day, Rajil Menon (8655443375) had taken photos of gutka being peddled within the railway premises with the full knowledge of the Railway police, and notified the food safety inspector, who came to the railway station to register a complaint.
Following the attack on him, Menon complained to the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force, Central Railway, alleging that the Kalyan RPF policemen who arrested him confiscated his cell phone and did not accept his application for grant of “seizurepanchnama”.
“I saw that the Railway police were dragging the accused inhumanly into the Railway Court premises. One of the Policemen, Senior Inspector S P Mishra, got hold of me and took me to the public prosecutor’s cabin inside the court. The public prosecutor asked the Police to register an offence against me…. Then, while taking me to the RPF Police station, the Policemen snatched my handset of HTC “Wildfire” “S” having Sim Card Mobile No 9011140140,” Menon’s complaint says.
Rajil Menon is frequently in the news as a social activist and has filed many complaints against hawkers and other miscreants on the railway station premises. He alleges that RPF officers in plain clothes, and other uniformed policemen without their name badges, subjected him to several bouts of violence, both inside and outside the police lock-up. “They slapped me, kicked me and knocked me in my stomach, due to which I fell down. I was put in the lock up and was being beaten. S P Singh had held me by my face with a finger inside my ear and another in my left eye and the thumb in my mouth,” he alleges.
Menon was detained in the Kalyan RPF lock-up on Platform No. 4 from 3.35 p.m. to approximately 5.45 pm. “In the lock-up, the Police Officers and Senior Inspector S P Singh again beat me, slapped me and abused me in very filthy, vulgar language,” he said in his complaint. At about 6 p.m. Menon was released on payment of Rs 1000 as bail. Soon afterwards, Advocate Priyanka Ghosh (8805140120) reached the police station and was told that he was arrested in C.R. No. 92 of 2014 dated. 08.01.2014. However, the Senior Police Inspector bluntly refused to provide a copy of search-seizure panchanama of Menon’s confiscated mobile phone, and even a copy of C.R. No.92 of 2014. The policeman refused to accept the application with the RPF Police Station at Kalyan.
“I have earlier complained several times to the RPF regarding the Hawkers blocking the entrance and exits to the Kalyan Railway Station. Due to the blockage essential services including Ambulance and cash vans of the ATM are affected.” On 31st December, 2013, Menon and a couple of fellow-activists had complained to the DRM, Central Railway. “Hence, I am being victimized for complaining about hawkers and inaction by the RPF,” says Rajil.