Cops 'mistreat' troubled trio

PATHALAIYA: Three travellers who approached a nearby police post after their vehicle broke down at night in Pathalaiya were allegedly mistreated.

Personnel Dharmendra Yadav, Jagarnath Yadav and Bishnu GC of Pathalaiya Temporary Police Post not only ill-treated the two male travellers but harassed the female one sexually also, one of the travellers said today.

Sharmila Mainali, her brother-in-law Dipak Odari (driver) and Chudamani Acharya (another driver) of Sanishchare in Jhapa, faced police misbehaviour under their control. The trio, heading for Jhapa in two Maruti vans, had stopped in front of the post with the hope of some support in mending the lights. But Dharmendra Yadav, who was on duty, took them under control, Odari said.

"We stopped in front of the police post expecting some help but were terrorised instead," Odari said. He said they had tried in vain to convince the officials. Going beyond the moral limit, the personnel had harassed Sharmila, who had an 11-year-old son with her, saying that they would be set free if they got a chance to sleep with her, Odari alleged.

He said the policemen were drunk and had sought Rs 25,000 as a precondition to setting their vehicle free. "They used threatening language for the sum of money."

Acharya said the police finally let them go after paying Rs 8,500. Helped by local residents, the victims picketed the police post this morning. The situation got tense for some time when the victims demanded action against the culprits. The journalists who went to the post were also not allowed to enter.

Inspector Kamalesh Bhatta, who came to the post from Area Police Office Simara, promised to take action against the personnel. The inspector made the culprits apologise and returned the money to the victims in the presence of the locals. He said a process to take action against the policeman who had harassed the woman had been initiated.