Unprovoked killing of
C. Chandrashekar by police SI
Fact-finding report by SICHREM-PUCL
The New Indian Express of 25/02/2002 carried a six-column front-page article
on the atrocities of a police SI. Mr. Nagaraj on Mr. Chandrashekar at
the premises of Bowring and Lady Curson Hospital in Bangalore City.
On reading the news item it was decided that a fact-finding mission should
be constituted to get the details and facts of the case correct. A fact-finding
team consisting of Mr. Mathews Philip and Mr. Sony George undertook the
fact-finding mission on 26/02/2002.
The team visited the Bowring and Lady Curson Hospital where the victim
is undergoing treatment and met the patient, the hospital authorities,
the staff members of the hospital and discussed with the police constables
in the station. Based on the discussion the team has put the facts of
the case together, given the statements of the various people met and
the recommendations are made.
Fact of the Case
On Wednesday 20th February, Mr. Chandrashekar is stated to have been sleeping
in the premises of the hospital. The S.I of the Police Station, which
is also housed in the premises of the hospital, brutally assaulted the
said Chandrashekar, for no obvious reasons. The victim was left with a
broken right leg, a sprained left hand and some bruises in the body. The
security staff of the hospital took the victim to the causality and got
him in the hospital.
Mr. J.C. Chandrashekar about 50 yrs old C/o. Deepak, No. 28.E. Narainpillai
Street, Bangalore. Though this is the contact address, Chandrashekar alias
Chadru has been making a living in the Bowring and Lady Curson Hospital
by helping and guiding patients who come to the hospital. He is single
and is understood to be visiting his brother's house occasionally. Chandrashekar
has been living in the premises of the hospital for the last 22 years
and eking out a living by doing errand works for the hospital. Chandrashekar
has known the S.I for the last two years, ever since he took charge as
the S.I at the station in the hospital premises. The victim has stated
that he stays in the premises of the hospital on most of the days. The
director / superintendent of the hospital Dr. Chandramma, the security
staff and some staff members of the hospital have confirmed this. There
has not been any complaint of misbehaviour of the victim and all the people
mentioned above stated that he was not engaged in any antisocial activities
in the hospital. The victim has said that he is an alcoholic and consumes
alcohol regularly. However, he said that on the particular day of the
incident he had not taken any drinks.
It has been stated that the victim was lying on a bench in the premises
of the hospital (The hospital has a 3 acre premises and most of it is
building) just behind the casualty. At around 9 pm the S.I Mr. Nagaraj
along with a constable was taking a round around the hospital. Chandrashekar,
being acquainted with the S.I said "Namaskara Sir" (Good Evening
Sir). The S.I with no provocation started beating up the victim. The constable
who accompanied the S.I reportedly requested the S.I not to beat him up.
In the assault, Chandrashekar broke his leg, had a sprain on the left
hand and had some bruises in the left leg.
About S.I Nagaraj
The S.I Mr. Nagaraj is 56 years old and has taken charge of the station
about 1-½ years ago. He usually leaves the office in the evening.
One Mr. M. Arul around 50 years of age making a living from the hospital
premises by helping the patients who visit the hospital stated "I
am living in the premises of he hospital from 1980 onwards. I had served
as a sub divisional writer for 6 years and was dismissed from services
in 1976. I was running a cycle hire stand here for 7 years. After that
I have been making a living by helping people in the hospital. On 18th
February 2002 at around 10:30 pm the S.I Mr. Nagaraj saw me stand before
the medical shop, called me near him and beat me up for no reason. He
is a very good person when not drunk and becomes a devil after drinking."
The statements from Srinivasa Murthy, a police constable currently in
Hospet, but having 15 years of work experience in the Bowring hospital
police station further confirmed the drinking habit of the S.I. He stated,
"The S.I has a bad reputation because of his alcoholism. He is in
the habit of beating up people when drunk. He is an alcoholic and is addicted
to drinks and drinks every evening and that is the reason why he will
not be there in the station from evening onwards".
The security officer stated, "S.I will never be seen in the station
in the nights. His wife was admitted in the hospital for some days around
the time the reported incident took place. Since his wife was in the hospital
he stayed back in the station during those days and used to create some
tension every day night".
The team would like to make the following observations.
The act of violence committed by S.I. Nagaraj is not an action taken on
the basis of any oral or written complaint by the hospital authorities
and hence cannot be deemed as "excesses" committed while taking
a person into custody. It is observed that the said atrocity was committed
by the S.I in a drunken stage and hence there has been severe breach of
professional ethics. The fact, that a similar act of violence, with less
severe consequences, had happened two days prior to the violence on Chandrashekar
point to the fact that it is a behaviour pattern of the said officer.
Unruly behaviour, and violence against the poor and innocent, in a drunken
state is an offence from an officer who should be the upholder of the
Though the victim
has been making a living by helping the patients who come to the hospital,
and used to sleep in the hospital premises, there has not been any case
of misbehaviour reported against him formally or informally from the various
people we met. The superintendent of the hospital Dr. Chandramma was extremely
helpful in the mission and stated that she has been seeing the victim
for the 20 years she has worked in this hospital. She in fact did know
his name and seemingly used to tell him to go to his house. She has not
preferred any complaint against him to the police.
That financial compensation should be provided to the victim who has been
incapacitated due to the facture of the right leg. That stringent action
should be taken against the police officer and case should be registered
against him. That the state should come out with a specific plan of action
to deal with alcoholism and abuse of drugs by police personnel. That the
state review the need for the police station in the hospital premises
as it was started with a view to look after the security needs and the
security needs are currently being met through hired services from security