MP cop suspended after being caught on tape claiming bias against Muslims in police

DIG Hoshangabad Arvind Saxena told India Today that the ASI has been placed under suspension pending inquiry as the allegations as the charges against him are of a very serious nature.

An Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of Police has been suspended in Madya Pradesh’s Betul on Thursday after he was heard on an audio tape telling a lawyer that the thrashing that the lawyer received at the hands of the police was because he ‘was mistaken as a Muslim’.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Hoshangabad, Arvind Saxena told India Today that the ASI has been placed under suspension pending inquiry as the allegations as the charges against him are of a very serious nature.

Lawyer Deepak Bundele, based in Betul, had claimed in a application he gave to the SP, Betul that on March 23, while the lockdown was in force, he was going to a hospital to get medicines for himself when he was stopped and thrashed by police personnel at Lalli Chowk in the town.

Bundele said that he had repeatedly told the police personnel he was hypertensive and diabetic yet was thrashed which resulted in injuries in his ears and body.

Bundele went to the civil hospital and got an MLC done. The doctors referred the matter to the police but no action was taken.

Meanwhile, Bundele sent reports of the incident to the state bar association, the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the Supreme Court besides the MP Human Rights Commission.

On May 17, a team from the Kotwali police station reached his house to get his statement recorded. The team led by ASI BS Patel asked Bundele to retract the charges. Bundele refused to do so and also made a recording of the conversation.

In the recording, the ASI can be allegedly heard telling Bundele that his thrashing was a case of mistaken identity as the policemen thought he was a Muslim. Further, the ASI said that the police is always with the Hindus in a Hindu-Muslim situation and that the constable who thrashed him is a ‘kattar’ Hindu.

The ASI can also be heard invoking Gandhi in the conversation. The alleged policeman in the conversation can be heard saying that it was a case of mistaken identity and the beard the lawyer had made him look as a Muslim. “Whenever there is a riot between Hindus and Muslims, the police is in favour of Hindus,” claimed the voice in the recording.

“The police wanted me to take back the charges and came home to ask me to do that. I also asked for the CCTV footage of the area under RTI but was refused,” said lawyer Deepak Bundele.

On Wednesday, police headquarters in Bhopal ordered an inquiry into the incident. DIG Hoshangabad, Arvind Saxena went to Betul to look into the matter and on Thursday action was taken against the ASI.

Section 64 (11) of the Police Regulation states that no personnel can distinguish between any citizen on the basis of religion. The chargesheet against the ASI will contain include the violation of section 64 as a prominent charge.

Source: India Today

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