Women accuse police of bias in road rage case


Car driver slapped them after they objected to his overtaking on wrong side, they say

Car driver slapped them after they objected to his overtaking on wrong side, they say

An incident of road rage that took place in the district on April 16 suddenly became a hot topic of discussion on social media following a complaint by two women, who were at the receiving end, against the police for not booking the man for murder attempt.

Hasna was returning home on her scooter with her younger sister Hamna on the pillion on April 16 afternoon when a car dangerously overtook them through the wrong side at Panambra near Calicut University.

Scared, Hasna gestured angrily at the car. Soon the car blocked the scooter, stopped in front of them, and the driver, C.H. Shabeer from Tirurangadi, got off the car. He reportedly walked up to the women and slapped them. By the time people gathered around the women and started shooting a video, the man left the scene. The women drove straight to the police station at Tirurangadi and filed a complaint.

‘Only minor charges’

The police said they registered a case against Mr. Shabeer under Section 323 (for voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 341 (for wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code. The police said he was arrested and released on bail. The women, who were returning from Kozhikode to Parappanangadi, complained that Mr. Shabeer had beaten them five times in public. The police said they were investigating the matter.

The women alleged that the police had slapped only minor charges against Mr. Shabeer even after he behaved dangerously on the road. They accused the police of yielding to political pressure from Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders as Mr. Shabeer was from an influential family with links to the IUML.

Women’s panel response

Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson P. Satheedevi said that on hearing about the incident, the commission got in touch with the Malappuram Deputy Superintendent of Police. The official inquired at the police station concerned and was told that a case for rash and negligent driving and voluntary causing hurt had been charged on the basis of the statement of a young woman, and the vehicle taken into custody. However, following the statement of the second woman, the police had been asked to look into adding relevant sections such as Section 354 (assault) to the charges and register a case. 

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