Bhopal: There has been a spike in incidents of police brutality since a nationwide lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic was imposed on March 25. Several videos of police excesses are doing the rounds on social media. A similar incident of police brutality happened to a journalist with The Times of India from Indore.
On Monday afternoon, Indore police abused and thrashed a 25-year-old TOI journalist when he was on way to buy milk after the morning meeting.
Speaking to NewsClick, the journalist, Antriksh Kar Singh, said that after he was done with the morning meeting via video-conference, “I went down to buy milk. When I got down from my building, a police vehicle stopped me. After an initial conversation, they started abusing me and thrashed me when I objected,” he added.
The incident makes a mockery of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s announcement: “Journalists don’t need passes during the curfew to roam around the city, their identity cards are enough.”
An hour after the incident, Indore Superintendent of Police, Ruchivardhan Mishra, suspended three police personnel including Sub-Inspector K.C. Parashar and constable Atul Sharma for their misconduct.
Speaking to media personnel, Assistant Superintendent of Police East Zone 1 Rajesh Raghuwanshi said,“Three police personnel have been suspended in connection with the incident. We have advised police personnel to avoid such incidents.”
A similar incident of police brutality came to light from Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district. On March 23, Betul police allegedly thrashed a 32-year-old journalist and advocate Deepak Bundele while he was on his way to a hospital.
Bundele, a lawyer with a history of diabetes, was going to the hospital and was allegedly beaten up brutally by policemen in Betul district. He sustained multiple injuries and his ear bled for two days after the incident.
"I need constant medication and lifesaving medicines to survive and I told the policemen everything. But, they kept hitting me, even after I fell,” he said. Bundele has complained to the Superintendent of Police (SP) and later informed the Bar Council. Now, he has written to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India.
"I am still bleeding. My ear is badly hurt and I fear I may suffer loss of hearing. I have demanded action against the policemen responsible for this brutality," he said.
"Why do they act like goons? I will fight and ensure that this level of high-handedness must not take place and the policemen involved face the law," he further said, mentioning that the police behaviour was “inhuman”. “Nobody should mistreat citizens and harass people who are in a medical emergency,” he added.
No action has been taken against the officials responsible so far, and the Betul police could not be contacted.