Bengaluru man claims harassment and extortion by police over mention of 'weed' in chat text
In Bengaluru, a resident's complaint about police harassment after a text contained the word 'Weed' has raised concern. Similar stories emerged on Reddit, where police stopped, searched, and demanded bribes from individuals with no evidence of wrongdoing. The Bengaluru Commissioner prohibited phone checks and urged citizens to report such incidents, addressing concerns over police behavior in the area.
A troubling incident has surfaced in Bengaluru, where a resident reported being harassed by policemen after the word 'Weed' appeared in one of his text messages. The incident was brought to light when a user posted about it on Reddit, and soon, others shared similar accounts of alleged bribery and harassment by the police.
According to the user's account, his friend, who is new to Bengaluru and was in search of a rental house near Ejipura, had a distressing encounter with the police. Policemen stopped and searched him, confiscated his phone, and scrutinized his text messages. During the inspection, they noticed the term 'Weed' in one of his chats and began harassing him, insisting on a medical examination.
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The user clarified that his friend does not use or possess any substances related to 'Weed,' and there were no images or evidence on his phone to suggest otherwise. Despite this, the police persisted in their harassment and even demanded a bribe. After roughly 30 minutes of fruitless searching, they resorted to threatening him with filing an FIR.
Ultimately, the police could not find any incriminating evidence, but they allegedly took 500 rupees from the victim before departing. This disconcerting incident has sent shockwaves among students and newcomers in Bengaluru, particularly those who are not well-versed in the local language and find it challenging to communicate effectively with the police.
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As the post gained traction, several users shared similar experiences, where students were subjected to similar mistreatment. However, one user referred to a tweet by the Bengaluru Commissioner, which explicitly stated, "@BlrCityPolice strictly prohibits any policeman from checking a citizen's mobile phone under any circumstances. If such an incident occurs, please contact 112 or inform the Commissioner of Police at 080-22942215."
Many other users inquired about the procedure for filing complaints against such incidents and expressed concern about the behaviour of policemen in areas like Koramangala and its surroundings.