The Chhindwara Police have suspended two policemen for wielding batons on a reportedly drunk man, in yet another instance of police personnel thrashing people during the lockdown in Madhya Pradesh.
In a video that went viral on social media, a policeman is seen landing blows on a man, who collapses to the ground, where he endures another set of blows and a kick before being taken inside a police van.
Stating the suspension, Chhindwara Deputy Inspector General of Police Mithilesh Shukla said, “We are inquiring into the incident. Officials had received the complaint that the man misbehaved with people of the area.” However, he said, officials should instead have taken him to a hospital, if he was drunk, for a medical examination, and registered a case if warranted. “Why the beating?” Mr. Shukla asked.
On April 20, a farmer died while undergoing treatment in Jabalpur, four days after he was allegedly beaten up by the police for violating lockdown orders as he was returning after feeding cattle. Whereas, On March 23, a diabetic lawyer on his way to hospital was beaten up by the police, and the latter claimed the incident occurred as they mistook him for a Muslim since he sported a beard.
“I am quite clear in such matters. This kind of behaviour has no place in the police. Such incidents can’t be defended,” Director General of Police Vivek Johri told The Hindu. “If they commit mistakes, action will be taken."
Denying that the incidents of police brutalities were occurring in a series, Mr. Johri said, “These are aberrations. But there is no question of trying to shield them. We will continue acting in such cases, set an example. But I don’t see a trend. The trend is that everyone has done their duty standing in the sun in the past two and a half months.”
Mr. Johri pointed out that policemen are trained to behave in a correct manner even under stress. “I have issued instructions several times, and we are pressing this time and again,” he said.
On April 8, the Bhopal Police allegedly thrashed two junior resident doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, with batons, as they were returning home after performing emergency duties. The same day, the Mandla Police allegedly manhandled a bank manager.
A day later, Mr. Johri told the entire State Police: “Incidents of misbehaviour by the police should be stopped immediately. For this, Police Superintendents will be held responsible.”
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