In an appalling event, a three-year-old girl died from sickness after being sent to jail with her mother over an alleged dispute. The shocking incident is being considered an instance of police negligence on part of officials in Kalaburagi, Karnataka. On Sunday, hundreds of local people organised a mass protest against the police outside the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Kalaburagi, where the child passed away.
Police arrested women and children
On December 30, a clash took place between two opposition parties in Jewargi town in Kalaburagi, during the announcement of the Grama Panchayat election results. Police officials from the local Jewargi police station intervened to stop the dispute and made a number of arrests on the spot.
Jewargi Congress MLA Dr Ajay Singh alleged that the police targeted Congress party leaders. They were jailed under non-bailable offences. However, Singh added that the arrested BJP leaders were pardoned off and received bail soon at the police station.
The following day, on December 31, the police reportedly arrested women and children, including the mother of the three-year-old girl who died. Protesters are alleging that both the mother and child were subjected to unfavourable conditions in the station, which caused the girl to fall sick. After her health deteriorated inside the jail, she was sent to GIMS hospital, where she died on the morning of January 2, Saturday.
Instances of police negligence and brutality
After the word about the incident spread, local people erupted in protest against police negligence and brutality. Men and women from Kalaburagi gathered in front of the hospital, demanding justice for the child.
“I am holding the police responsible for this. We want enquiry in this case,” Ajay Singh told ANI, while leading the demonstration.
The police, however, has chosen not to comment on the allegations levelled against them. Kalaburagi SP Simi Mariam George has stated, “A woman was arrested in a case and was jailed with her child in Jewargi police station. The child got sick and was sent to the hospital where she died. A probe is on.”
The protests ended and the demonstrators dispersed after the police assured fair probe into the case.
Instances of police brutality are not uncommon in India. In June 2020, the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennicks shocked the nation. The incident raised a number of questions regarding the misuse of power by police in India and prevailing corruption in the judicial system. The incident of Kalaburagi is another proof of police negligence that should be addressed at all costs.