Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achutanandan finally got a belated apology from the Kerala police for cruel tortures inflicted on him 60 years ago, when he was a young Communist. It was in the State conference of the Kerala Police Association held here the other day that cops apologised to the octogenarian chief minister for their predecessors’ wrongdoings.
Mr Achutanandan was arrested for his role in the historic Punnapra revolt in the early 1940s and was subjected to inhuman torture by the Travancore police which was the instrument of a dictatorial Dewan. After beating him up for hours, angry police officers of Alapuzha stabbed the soles of his feet with bayonets and abandoned him in a thicket in an unconscious state. A burglar who was making his night rounds saved Mr Achutanandan’s life.
The veteran suffered police atrocities in later years too. Naturally, the office-bearers of the police association were wary of inviting him to inaugurate their conference, given his bitter experiences in the lock-up. However, the chief minister was pleased after the cops expressed regret about past wrongs.
While inaugurating the conference, Mr Achutanandan turned emotional and said he appreciated the gesture of the police officers.
“But I am only one among the hundreds who have been tortured by the police over the years,” he said, while gesturing at senior police officers sitting on stage. “All your victims deserve apologies.” The chief minister added that people were expecting police to develop a more civilised culture. “We will treat you humanely and you should treat others the same way,” he said.