Following the coronavirus outbreak in India and the rising number of cases, PM Narendra Modi called for total lockdown. In a shocking incident in Bengaluru on Wednesday, two girls were evicted from the PG following owner's harassment and the lack of intervention from the police inspector.
The owner and the manager of the PG in HSR Layout had forced three girls to vacate and move out during the lockdown. The incident came to light when the brother of one of the girl's escalated the issue to various police officials and shared the ordeal on Twitter. International Business Times, India, spoke to Raj about the issue, which he was trying to handle on behalf of his sister and her two friends.
Getting help from police
Firstly, he noted that getting help on site was impossible. After calling 100 and staying on the line for 2 hours, he was redirected to HSR police station. But the number provided to him went unanswered, which is when he tried to reach out to the police by other means and got another number for the HSR police station, which also went unanswered. Finally, Raj was able to get some direction when Dr. Rohini Katoch IPS, DCP South Bangalore, directed him to DCP South East.
Upon reaching out to the DCP South East, he directed the troubled individual to the police inspector (PI) of the HSR Layout.
Thinking his troubles could finally be over, Raj had more coming his way. The inspector, as per the family, failed to visit or assign police officials to go to the PG to attend to the distress call. Legal experts see this as direlection of duty and in direct contravention of section 55 & 56 of the national disaster management act (which is in force in the country at this juncture).
We reached out to Raj a little before 11:00 PM to understand his issue. We also tried calling the HSR police station and the inspector at +91 XXXXX 01626 but got no response. As of 12:30 am, Raj said his sister and her two friends were concerned for their safety.
Girls moving out of PG
Bereft of options and help from Police, come morning, the two girls accompanying Raj's sister had found alternate stay options to move out of the PG. At the time of filing this report, Raj's sister was also finding a way to move out of the PG and look for alternate stay arrangements.
We reached out to Inspector Raghavendra to get a comment on the way this situation was handled on his watch, to which he responded saying the issue was addressed and closed on Thursday morning. The inspector spoke to the girls and the owner to find a solution and ordered the owner of the PG to let the girls stay for a month. But the officer said the girls found an alternate stay option.
CP's order to PG, hostel owners
Just as this issue was escalating, Bhaskar Rao IPS, Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru City) clearly instructed PG and hostel owners that it is illegal to ask inmates to leave. Also, they must provide food, Rao noted.
But several people have raised concerns that they had or someone they know had been asked to vacate the PG and hostels during the lockdown. It remains to be seen how the city police officials tackle this sensitive issue in the coming days.