Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Human Rights Day and Special Branch of Kerela Police

Yesterday (10 December '14) had been gone to a solidarity protest at Civil Station, Kapatta with Father Baby. I was told that people will observe International Human Rights Day by this silent protest and express their solidarity to the ongoing standing protest on Tribal issues in Trivandrum. I started clicking photographs as usual, meanwhile staff from Special Branch of Kerela
Police started interacting me about my locus standee, whereabouts, my family, my
native place and my prior connection with the people present in the protest. Which I repliedone after other. This interaction/interrogation went on till the end of the protest, almost for more than one hour. Had a long interactions with ASI Mr. Gopi and Forensic Photographer Mr. S. Babu. A few others had their questions, which I replied. 
They wanted to know about the Ride and my further route, which I told them. Later Mr. S. Babu, (a Fine Arts Graduate and a official police
photographer for the last 17 years)  told me, "Please don't mind the questions of Special Branch officials, as recently a Maoist action has been taken place in the district and the Maoists are active in Waynad district. Since you do not seem local,this is why they were asking to you these questions". To which I replied, I really don't mind to these questions, because when I am on the wheels,

people ask whatever they want. It would have been nice if any senior/responsible official from your department would have asked all the questions instead of persons coming one after other with the same set of
questions and ascertaining my identity and citizenship. Later ASI Mr. Gopi invited for a tea at nearby shop. We had a brief conversation on tea also. He told me about the terrain and road towards Karnataka
boarder. He said me to be careful while crossing the Jungle part of Karnataka. It could be dangerous, because wild animals like elephants freely roam there. Replying my question he said that his elder son has recently completed B. Tech while the younger one is doing B. Com., And he is a native of Waynad district.

With the words, 'if I face any difficulty on my, I will give a call to you', I departed from there. It was a memorable and a bit traumatized experience indeed.

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