in police custody at Kota, Udupi
PUCL constituted an Investigation Team to probe into the custodial death
of Narayana K.V which took place at Kota on 20th May 2001 around 2:30
pm. The team consisted of Mr. P. B. D' Sa Nagesh H, Shanker, Albet J.
Rego, Benito H, Balakrishna Rao. The team conducted extensive investigations
in Udupi, Manipal, Kota, Brahmavar, and other places and have come to
the conclusion, that this is a custodial death committed by Circle Inspector
Vishwanath Pandit, of Brahmavar Circle under which Kota Station and the
residence of Narayan K.V comes, Jagdeesh C.I of Udupi; Thimmaiha, S.I
of Udupi; AV Laxminarayan, S.I of Brahmavar and their men.
Narayana K.V, who was a furniture and Solar Heater manufacturer at Udupi
was picked up by Vishwanath Pandit and others at about 7:30 pm on 18th
May 2000 in the presence of Kamlamma, 75 year old mother of Narayan (his
father is no more), his elder brothers Ramachandra, 51 year old married
and staying at Mudarangady, Krishnaiaha K.V 48 year married and living
at Manipal, Lecturer at ITI Perdur, Sister Sanjeevi aged about 40 married
and staying at Manipal and youngest sister Shaila, 26 years old who is
a lawyer (Their second brother Umesh studied upto M.A was working in External
Affairs Ministry Govt. of India - now expired) and 7 year old daughter
of Sanjeevi. Narayana, the victim had studied upto SSLC and was driving
his own car at Virajpet before starting the present business.
This family living in Virajpet had shifted to Kota about 7 years back
and not known much in the locality, as they appear to be quiet and decent
law abiding family.
Friday 18th was naming ceremony for Shaila's first child and therefore
all the brothers and sisters were at home. Function was just over around
7:30 / 8:00 pm, Police barged in and took away Narayan in the presence
of the entire family. He was taken away to Kota Police Station by Pandit
and assaulted with the belt in the presence of his brothers then taken
to Brahmavar Station. The brothers followed the Police to Brahmavar and
pleaded that their brother is an innocent person and they should not assault
him. Narayan was hale and hearty while he was taken. He had no ailments
and was healthy.
They desperately sought the assistance of an advocate who discouraged
them from going to the station and told them that he would get him a bail
on Monday morning. Therefore they came home and were hoping that their
brother would come home. Whole Saturday they went from station to station
and learnt that he was in Udupi station. However they were not allowed
to see him.
Saturday 19th Valentine, S.I of Kota came home with some constables and
searched the entire house and found nothing incriminating hence went away
taking a dairy belonging to the house. It was about 7:30 / 8:00 pm.
Sunday 20th noon at about 1:30 pm about 25 Policemen in Mufthi and only
two in uniform came rushing into the house. Two constables dragging Narayana
on their shoulders as he was unable to walk, his neck and back bone had
twisted, his legs and feet were twisted, his face was swollen. They brought
him, started assaulting him with hands and boots, and constantly banged
his head to the wall. After this attack, which continued for about an
hour, Narayan collapsed and died, but Police continued to kick him and
finally pretended to offer some First Aid such as little water, some glucose
and onion to smell.
During this one hour, the Police staged a sort of a drama.
Mother was abused, assaulted and injured on the face; sisters were abused
and assaulted. Vishwanath Pandit made attempts to rape Sanjeevi. Both
mother and Sanjeevi were injured and treated as in patients.
In the process, Police suddenly produced a bag, kept on the table, took
out some tools like pistols etc, and forced Narayan to agree that he kept
it. Police went out, brought some packet, and said it was some drug kept
by Narayana and forced him to agree. However Narayana was unable to utter
a single word. He was completely blank.
Police then ran away with the body after a Doctor was called who pronounced
that Narayan was dead.
Brothers could not find where his body was taken in spite of a search.
Finally brothers were called to identify the body at KMC Hospital and
were threatened that they will face the same fate as of Narayana if they
bury the body and that they should cremate it. Therefore the body was
Brothers and Brother-in-law were called to the station again on Monday
and threatened stating that they should not tell anyone that they killed
him and that they should tell all that he ate Potassium Cyanide, which
was on the table, and he died.
The investigation team visited Udupi, Manipal and met Krishnaiaha and
Sanjeevi. On 7th June around 2:00 pm we visited Kota Police Station, Brahmavar
Police Station and C.I 's Office. C.I Vishwanath Pandit was absconding,
no S. I' s were found in Kota or Brahmavar stations. Though we waited
for C.I till 5:00 pm, he did not turn up. Once Police said he had gone
for food, later they changed their version "gone for investigation".
There are about 9 eye witnesses who saw the drama on Friday & Sunday.
Evidence of eyewitnesses corroborates, therefore we have no hesitation
in concluding that this is a day light, cold blooded murder by the Police
in the presence of the family members, in their own home.
There is no chance of Narayana consuming cyanide under the circumstances
described above. Only possibility is that Police might have forced cyanide
in his mouth or cyanide was introduced at the stage of post-mortem.
Different Police men have come constantly to their house from Monday and
forced them to say that he had consumed cyanide and threatened them of
We demand immediate arrest of Vishwanath Pandit (C.I), Jagdeesh, C.I of
Udupi, Thimmaiha, S.I of Udupi, AV Laxminarayan S.I of Brahmavar and all
others involved in the murder under Section 302. Proper charges should
be framed for trespass wrongful confinement, kidnap, custodial violence,
theft (Rs. 5000/- has been robbed from their house), rioting, and conspiracy.
If the arrest does not take place within 7 days further action will be
planned by PUCL in collaboration with all other like-minded organisations.
-- P.B. D 'Sa, June