A video showing policemen beating up a Sikh man, in tribal-dominated Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh, went viral on Wednesday. An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and a head constable were suspended by the Barwani superintendent of police, after finding them to be prima facie guilty of wrong action.
The video, from Palsud town in Rajnagar tehsil of Barwani, shows two policemen pushing around and pulling the Sikh man by hair even as his turban is dislodged. Another Sikh man who is seen protesting against the action is also pushed around by one of the cops.
Sharing the video, former chief minister Kamal Nath called the police action “torture”, “goondaism” and also an insult of Sikh religious traditions. “Such incidents cannot be tolerated. I demand from the government that there should be strict action against the guilty persons and the victim should get justice,” Nath said in a tweet.
मध्य प्रदेश के बड़वानी के पलसूद में प्रेम सिंह ग्रंथी जो की वर्षों से पुलिस चौकी के पास एक छोटी सी दुकान लगाकर अपना जीवन यापन करते आ रहे है।— Office Of Kamal Nath (@OfficeOfKNath) August 7, 2020
उनको वहाँ की पुलिस ने अमानवीय तरीक़े से पिटा , उनकी पगड़ी उतार दी , बाल पकड़ कर बुरी तरह से सड़क पर उनकी पिटाई की।
He said that the victim in question is Prem Singh Granthi of Palsud who earns livelihood by running a small shop near the local police post. “He was beaten up in an inhuman manner, his turban was forcefully removed and he was pulled by hair and beaten up on the streets,” Nath said.
Barwani Superintendent of Police Nimish Agrawal told THE WEEK that the man in question was a habitual offender. “Checking was going on and he was asked for documents when he got into a scuffle with the police. In the scuffle, the ASI’s hand engaged with the turban and it got removed. However, finding them guilty of unwarranted action, I have suspended the ASI Sitaram Bhatnagar and head constable Mohan Jamre. Further probe is on and suitable action will be initiated,” Agrawal said.
Meanwhile, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed a probe by the Indore Inspector General (IG) of police into the incident after Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted the video and called the incident outrage against humanity. She urged Chouhan to take exemplary action against those 'guilty of the brutality'. Saying that two cops had been suspended immediately, Chouhan added that such brutality against Sikhs will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against the guilty.
Khargone SDM, SDOP transferred after action on Ram Mandir celebrators
Meanwhile, the state government on late Thursday night transferred a sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP) and a sub-divisional magistrate in Khargone district, for allegedly beating up and misbehaving with a group of youth engaged in celebrating the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony of Ayodhya Ram Mandir on Wednesday.
Later, in the night, a group of youth had gone on rampage, beating up others with nailed batons.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and other Hindu organisations had called for action on guilty police and administrative officers. This led to the transfer of SDOP Gladwin E. Kar and SDM Abhishek Gehlot late on Thursday night.
On Friday, Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that the officials were transferred as they were prima facie found guilty in the incident. “We want peace and amity to reign in the state and this is our first priority. Whosoever is guilty will not be spared.”