“If you want a share of fame, you’ve got to be willing to take a share of the blame. If no one heeds your call, go forth alone. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Violence always rebounds, always returns home. If you can’t bear crosses, you can’t wear a Crown. Remember to hate, to be violent is demeaning. The appearance of millionaires in any society is no proof of its affluence”
Mangaluru: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change..Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference”—On the outset before going into details, I dedicate this report to all those victims, including President of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Late David D’Souza of Police Atrocities and Judicial Atrocities in India and also in Dakshina Kannada, that we call a democracy. May David D’Souza’s Soul Rest in Peace!
Slogans were raised during the homage/condolence meeting held at ‘Sahodaya’ hall-KACES, Balmatta on July 21, 2015 for President of PUCL David D’Souza who died in police custody on July 2, 2015 at Rural Police Station-Kankanady. During the meeting State and DK members of PUCL demanded judicial enquiry into David D’Souza’s death in the hands of police, also arrest of Circle Inspector Pramod, ASI Chandrashekar and others involved in the incident.
Prior to the formal proceedings of the meeting, Ismath Fajeer- District Secretary of Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike welcomed the gathering, and led the audience to raise their voice and shout slogans criticizing and condemning the police atrocities pertaining to the death of DK-PUCL president David D’Souza. Then the dignitaries namely P B D’Sa-Former State president-PUCL, Dr Laxminarayan-State President, PUCL, Advocate Dinesh Hegde Ullepady, Muneer Katipalla- State President-DYFI, K L Ashok- Secretary, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Suresh Bhat Bakrebail -President, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, and Venkatraj- State Committee member, PUCL.
Addressing the gathering, P B D’Sa said, “The blow was hard when I got the news of the tragic death of our beloved president David D’Souza at the hands of police. David was a man of people, always ready to help those in need and always ready to fight on issues in bringing justice. He had joined PUCL ten years ago, and when I stepped down he was a “ready-made president” to take up my job. But it’s really sad to note that a precious life was lost due to the atrocities of the police authorities. David had handled over 50 cases, and has succeeded in bringing justice to the victims in many cases. He was a strong fighter- I remember once he saying to a lawyer during a court hearing, “Are you a human being first or a lawyer first”?. Since he was a dedicated, courteous Human Rights Defender, the police were waiting to finish him, and on 2 July they targeted him. I can say that David’s death was due to police brutality in their custody-no doubt about it, since we have witnesses. Too sad that law and order has collapsed in Karnataka/DK, where common people are tortured and suppressed by law enforcement authorities. We cannot stop this unless we strengthen PUCL which is an all India association- I humbly request your support in bringing justice to David D’souza”.
Advocate Dinesh Hegde speaking said, “These days police are not people friendly. They don’t follow the laws, they act according to their will and wish. They depend on political power, and handle their duties in a very corrupt manner. In the case of David’s death, the police authorities gave wrong information to the media. The police had no right to drag David inside when there was a tussle between the other parties at the police station-they should have separated the people who were involved in the argument in the station. Instead they targeted the wrong person, and thus David faced death in police custody, which we should condemn and fight to bring justice in this case. Police didn’t handle this situation systematically at the station. Let’s all join hands and protest/fight till justice is served”.
Suresh Bhat Bakrebail addressing the gathering said, “David and me were great friends, and we fought many cases to bring justice. It’s indeed sad to note that a hard worker, dedicated and sincere person had to face such a tragic death. One thing that really saddens me is the way the media highlighted this incident. I request the media to be non-bias-it is only through proper news published by print/electronic media we can achieve success and bring justice to unsolved cases.”
Dr Laxminarayan speaking to the audience said, “This afternoon we had gone to meet police commissioner Murugan at his office to submit a memorandum and discuss on the David’s death at the police station-but I am ashamed to tell you how arrogant and non-friendly the PC was. He wasn’t a people friendly man, showed no respect to us, although we were all educated people, including professors, entrepreneurs and well-to-do citizens. How can a district have a police commissioner with such a attitude? I can say that David’s death is a police custodial death, and the PC should sleuth into it so that justice is served. David’s death is very fishy and kind of suspicious. Mangaluru being a place of educated people, we all should fight to bring justice in some cases that get prolonged due to corrupt and inefficiency in the law enforcement department”.
“The role of the higher law enforcement officials has been disappointing and pathetic in investigating into the death of David. Regarding the death of David in police custody, all can be said is that this entire case was an abrogation of the law, it was malicious, vicious, criminal and something that should never have happened in a democracy. Police have not handled this incident systematically. We the members of PUCL will arrange protests in many parts of the state, and will fight till justice is served in this case. We will win the battle” added Dr Laxminarayan.
Muneer Katipalla, K L Ashok, Venkatraj and others also spoke and blamed the death of David due to police atrocity, and urged the public to join in the fight to bring justice to this death case and many other cases still pending and dragging due to police negligence and corrupt administration.