Chandigarh, Sep 26 (PTI) A superintendent of police and five other policemen were booked for subjecting a lawyer in their custody to torture, including engaging in forced sodomy with a co-accused, according to an FIR registered in Punjab's Muktsar district.
Lawyers affiliated with the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday resolved to abstain from work indefinitely from Tuesday in solidarity with the advocate, demanding the policemen's dismissal and arrest.
The advocate and another man were arrested on September 14 following a complaint by Crime Investigation Agency in-charge Raman Kumar Kamboj in which he alleged that the lawyers had assaulted a police team and tore the officers' uniforms.
According to allegations, the two men were forced to perform sexual acts in police custody.
The case was registered against Muktsar SP (Investigation) Ramandeep Singh Bhullar, Inspector Raman Kumar Kamboj, constables Harbans Singh, Bhupinder Singh, and Gurpreet Singh, and home guard Dara Singh on Monday, according to the FIR.
The Muktsar Chief Judicial Magistrate in his September 22 order had directed police to register a case against the policemen on the basis of the advocate's statement in which he alleged being subjected to inhuman treatment in custody.
"The statement of the victim is treated as complaint as per Section 2 (D) of the Criminal Procedure Code, in which prima facie cognizable offences of abetment of unnatural sex and causing injuries in wrongful confinement, causing threat to his life and liberty, shown," the court said in its order.
"From the perusal of his statement, there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the police officials/officer named by him. Therefore, the concerned SHO (station house officer) PS (police station) Sadar Sr Muktsar Sahib is directed to initiate investigation against the police officials after registering a case against them," the court ordered.
The policemen have been booked under several sections including 377 (unnatural sex), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Punjab and Haryana Court bar association Tuesday wrote to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann seeking cancellation of the case against the advocate, handing over the matter to Central Bureau of Investigation and arrest and dismissal of accused policemen.
Opposition party Shiromani Akali Dal demanded a high court-monitored probe or a CBI inquiry into the case.
Akali Dal leader Daljit Singh Cheema demanded Mann's resignation, alleging he had failed in his duty as home minister and did not have any right to continue in office.
He also asked the Aam Aadmi Party government to explain why no action was taken against the accused policemen, except the registration of a case, which also came on the orders of the Muktsar Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring condemned the incident and expressed solidarity with lawyers.
"We express complete solidarity with the legal fraternity & strongly condemn the illegal detainment and 3rd degree torture," Warring posted on X.
He demanded CM Mann and state police chief Gaurav Yadav to hold an independent inquiry and bring the guilty to book in the matter.