Kollam (Kerala): Political parties Saturday criticised the Kerala Police for holding up a couple at a police station all night, but without any charge. Police, however, said they were detained for giving conflicting answers.
Speaking to reporters, Sreeram Ramesh and his friend Hima Sankar who belong to a theatre group said after dinner the two left for the state capital Thiruvananthapuram from his house near here Thursday night.
"A police patrol first stopped us. After checking the papers and asking us where we were headed, they let us go," Ramesh said.
He added: "A few minutes later, another night patrol police team stopped us. Despite identifying ourselves and they checking our papers, the policemen said they were taking us to the police station at about 12.30 am.
"We asked several times what was wrong, but they started speaking rudely.
"Once inside the station, they took us to two different rooms and we were not allowed to speak to each other. It was only Friday morning at about 9 am when the inspector came that we were let off but no charges were levelled against us."
Sankar asked: "Is it fair that we were held up? Moreover, Ramesh`s father came to the station and told the officials that both left home after dinner. But, they did not relent."
CPI-M Rajya Sabha member TN Seema criticised the police action. "Yes, they are responsible for safety of women, but after being told who the two are, keeping them all night in the station is wrong. The police should have behaved in a more responsible manner," she said.
Women Congress leader Bindhu Krishna said: "This is outrageous behaviour because even after a parent of the young man came to the police station and testified, the police officials did not leave the two. This is nothing but a big fat ego. Action should be taken against the erring officials."
Meanwhile, Police Complaint Authority officials have got in touch with the two victims and asked them to meet them Tuesday to know the facts of the case and proceed as per law.
However, an official attached to the Kollam East Police station told IANS Sankar was looked after by the Women Police Helpline lady officials and she did not have any problem.
"The night patrol officials brought them to the station when the two gave different answers upon being questioned. Since there were no senior official, we had to keep the two in the station. In the morning, the official came and after hearing everything, the they were let off without any charge," said an official.