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Posted at: Jun 17, 2019, 6:03 PM; last updated: Jun 17, 2019, 9:54 PM (IST)

Three cops suspended after video of assault on driver goes viral

Three cops suspended after video of assault on driver goes viral
Members of Delhi Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee protest during Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s meeting with a Gramin Seva driver who was allegedly assaulted by Delhi Police officials on Sunday after his vehicle collided with a police vehicle in New Delhi on Monday. PTI photo

New Delhi, June 17

Three policemen who assaulted a Sikh driver in Delhi were suspended on Monday, officials said.

A police officer was injured on Sunday when he was allegedly attacked by a tempo driver after an accident between their vehicles.

Two Assistant Sub-Inspectors and a constable have been suspended for unprofessional conduct over the way they handled the situation on Sunday after a 'Gramin Seva' taxi brushed a police vehicle, triggering a chain of unpleasant events.

Cross FIRs have been registered based on the statements of the police personnel and the tempo driver, the police said. 

The case was also transferred to the Crime Branch which will be probed "independently", Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) and Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma said.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern Range) Manish Kumar Agarwal  is separately conducting a detailed inquiry into the matter.

In one of the purported videos that have gone viral one social media, the man was seen chasing some policemen with a sword in his hand, while the policemen were seen thrashing him with batons in another.

The enquiry will be conducted by an Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police along with an Assistant Commissioner of Police to ascertain the role of the policemen in the incident which was caught on camera.

The police say it were the driver and his son who first attacked the policemen with a sword. The father was swinging a sword while chasing the police.

The driver's friends alleged that the father and son were dragged out of the vehicle by police personnel and assaulted and again beaten up at the police station.

Further action will be taken following the outcome of the police investigation, officer Arya said.

On Monday, the driver, Sarabjit Singh, 45, became emotional while his 16-year-old son Balwant Singh broke down while narrating to the press how they were thrashed at the police station.

"They took us inside the police station. One of them instructed the others to switch off the CCTV and then they started beating us badly," said Balwant Singh, who was with his father when the incident took place.

Balwant Singh said a policeman hit him on the head with a pistol.

"First they punched my face multiple times and later one of them started to hit me with his pistol's butt on the head. I felt like I was a terrorist who was being interrogated," Balwant Singh said as neighbours in Gandhi Vihar stood by in grim silence. 

A passer-by recorded the violent scenes on the streets on his mobile telephone and posted them on social media.

The video shows the driver and his son having an argument with a policeman outside the Mukherjee Nagar police station. As more policemen came to the scene, the man takes out a sword from his vehicle and charges at the policemen, scattering them.

Eventually he is overpowered. And then the police personnel began to rain lathi blows on the man.

They were then taken to the police station and, according to the father and son, thrashed again, prompting protests by BJP and AAP MLAs as well as demonstrations by residents, including members of the Sikh community.

The issue soon took a political turn with Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the BJP MLA from Rajouri Garden, claiming that the policemen insulted the man by attacking his turban.

‘Impartial Probe’

Kejriwal, who met the family of the man, said the Delhi police's "brutality" in Mukherjee Nagar area on Sunday was highly condemnable and unjustified.

"I demand an impartial probe into the whole incident & strict action against the guilty. Protectors of citizens can't be allowed to turn into uncontrolled violent mobsters," the chief minister tweeted.

Talking to reporters later, Kejriwal said: "I appeal to the home minister and the LG to take strict action against the guilty so that no citizen is treated like this in the future”.  

Ministry of Home Affairs has asked for a report from Delhi Police. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said he had spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and asked him to take immediate action.

"BJP delegation led by Shri @rpsinghkhalsa ji called on me today regarding the incident under Mukherjee Nagar Police Station in New Delhi, I spoke to CP Delhi, instructed for immediate action and to submit a detailed report," Reddy tweeted.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal urged Home Minister Amit Shah to award exemplary punishment to police personnel responsible for the "brutal attack" and dismiss them from the service to send a message that "atrocities by men in uniform" would not be tolerated under any circumstances.

"This is a disgraceful and unforgivable act. We will ensure that the guilty are brought to book,” he tweeted. "There is no place in democracy for inhuman conduct against anyone. I urge @AmitShah to dismiss policemen resp for brutal attack on innocent Sikhs in Delhi yesterday. Attempt to murder cases should also be registered against cops. I commend DSGMC for taking up the case forcefully (sic)".

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also described the incident as "shameful" and urged the home minister to take action.

"Shameful incident of @DelhiPolice ruthlessly beating up Sarabjeet Singh & Balwant Singh over a petty issue. Request HM @AmitShah to ensure justice," he tweeted. Agencies

 

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