In a disturbing incident that unfolded at Watson’s, a popular pub in Kochi city, a lawyer practicing before the Kerala High Court was allegedly assaulted by bouncers on the night of September 30. Advocate Midhu Dev Prem, accompanied by his wife, had visited the establishment for a peaceful dinner. However, their evening took a violent turn when Prem’s friends became embroiled in a confrontation with the pub’s staff. What was meant to be a pleasant evening ended with Prem suffering physical injuries at the hands of a bouncer, sparking a legal and public outcry.

The Harrowing Night

Advocate Midhu Dev Prem and his wife embarked on what was intended to be an ordinary night out for dinner. Little did they anticipate the traumatic events that would transpire. While at the pub, Prem noticed that his friends had become entangled in a dispute with the bar staff. Determined to intervene and restore peace, Prem approached the group.

However, his attempt to mediate the situation took a violent turn when a bouncer named Anas, allegedly wearing brass knuckles, initiated an attack on him. Anas delivered a powerful punch to Prem’s face, resulting in lacerations just beneath his eye. Shockingly, Prem contends that this brutal assault unfolded in plain view of the pub manager, Ashly, who purportedly failed to intervene in any meaningful manner. It was only when the severity of Prem’s injuries became apparent, coupled with the presence of his wife, that the manager decided to take action.

Delayed Justice

Prem and his friends promptly summoned the police, who assured them that a First Information Report (FIR) would be registered. In line with the officers’ guidance, Prem sought medical attention at Aster Medcity. However, despite the seriousness of the incident and the promise of police intervention, hours passed at the hospital without any law enforcement officers arriving to record his statement.

Frustrated by the apparent lack of urgency, Prem’s brother-in-law, also a practicing lawyer, took matters into his own hands. He personally visited the Ernakulam Central Police Station and engaged directly with the Assistant Commissioner of Police to instigate the FIR registration process. According to Prem, the initial response from the police seemed disinterested and inclined towards protecting the pub’s interests due to its substantial influence as part of a prominent chain.

The FIR and Unanswered Questions

Subsequently, an FIR was lodged, encompassing alleged offenses under Sections 323, 324, 294(b), read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. However, Prem and his family assert that the FIR, as it stands, does not comprehensively encapsulate the gravity of the incident. The consequences of the attack were dire, with Prem requiring surgery and receiving six stitches on his face. He also sustained a tear near his eye, perilously close to his pupil.

Prem’s sister, Advocate Neethu Prem, highlighted the inadequacy of the FIR in reflecting the true extent of the incident. She noted that the FIR, registered on October 1, fails to provide a complete picture of the harrowing assault that her brother endured, as it was initiated while he was still recovering from sedation.

Seeking Justice

Advocate Midhu Dev Prem and his family believe that the severity of the assault warrants a more comprehensive investigation. They contend that the police should consider adding non-bailable offenses, including Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), to the FIR, given the circumstances surrounding the incident. Prem emphasizes that his injuries could have been far more severe had he not instinctively shielded himself from the bouncer’s attack.

The assault on a lawyer practicing before the Kerala High Court at a popular pub in Kochi has raised significant questions about the safety and security of patrons at such establishments. It also underscores the critical need for a thorough and impartial investigation to ensure justice is served in this case.

The alleged assault on Advocate Midhu Dev Prem has ignited concerns about the safety of individuals frequenting public spaces, such as pubs and restaurants. While an FIR has been registered, the demand for a more comprehensive and rigorous inquiry persists. As this case unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring that acts of violence are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted, regardless of the perpetrator’s affiliations or the establishment’s influence. The legal community and the public at large are closely watching as justice seeks to prevail in this troubling incident.

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