Thiruvananthapuram: After a video of a Kerala police officer repeatedly kicking a man for travelling ticketless on a train went viral, the policeman was suspended on Monday.
The Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Vinod Kumar T K issued the suspension order.
Also, the order ratified the decision of Superintendent of Police (Railways) Chaitra Teresa John for an oral enquiry against the officer -- ASI Pramod M C on deputation to the railway police.
The action was taken based on a special report from a Deputy Superintendent-rank officer.
While the police carried out the oral enquiry, the State Human Rights Commission on its own registered a case and ordered a probe.
The Commission asked the Kannur City Police Commissioner to conduct an investigation and submit a report within a week.
The nearly 20-second video taken by a passenger shows the officer standing over the man, who was initially sitting on the floor near the door of the train and then keels over completely after repeated kicks by the officer. The incident occurred on Sunday on the Maveli Express The errant policeman and another civil police officer boarded the train from Kannur and proceeded to check tickets of the passengers.
The man was assaulted under the belief that he did not have a ticket and the police also claimed he was drunk. He was later made to get off the train at Vadakara.
Kannur Superintendent of Police Ilango R told a news channel earlier in the day that the officer in question is on deputation to the Kerala railway police. He also said a parallel inquiry is being conducted by the Railway police.
Later a woman, who claimed to be travelling in the same compartment as the man, told a news channel over the phone that he was drunk and came and sat down opposite the berth where she and another woman were sitting.
He then took out a paper with his Aadhaar details and was showing it to them (women) when the officer arrived there and asked for the ticket of the man.
As he did not have a valid ticket, the officer asked him to get up several times, but the man did not respond and thereafter, the policeman picked him up from there and took him away, the woman told the channel.
She said she was scared when the drunk man came and sat opposite to her.
The latest incident comes two days after a Kerala police team allegedly forced a foreigner to empty the alcohol bottles he had purchased from a State-owned liquor outlet for New Year's Day celebrations, a video of which also went viral.
In the matter involving the foreigner, the State government on Saturday suspended a police officer, who allegedly forced the foreigner to pour the liquor out.
Responding to the latest incident, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the State Assembly V D Satheesan told reporters on Monday that police has got out of hand as its lower ranked officials were being controlled by the ruling party's district and area committees and not by the senior officers of the force.
He said police in Kerala has allegedly failed miserably to protect the life and property of the people and was reduced to being a mute spectator on several occasions.
Satheesan said communal groups, goons and the police were walking around uncontrolled.
The LoP accused the Chief Minister also of going out of his way to protect such errant officers and terming such incidents as isolated ones when in reality police was allegedly committing such atrocities regularly.
Police in Kerala is at a shameful and embarrassing position presently, he added.
Kerala PCC president and Congress MP K Sudhakaran also criticised the police for its officers' actions including the recent incident where a foreigner was forced to empty on the road the liquor he had bought for not having the purchase receipt.
Sudhakaran also wanted the the Home portfolio to be taken away from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.