“Violence at any level, be it by police or by mob, is unacceptable,” Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said
Lucknow: Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said “action must be taken” against the Uttar Policeman who was seen in a video making communal statements in a Muslim locality in Meerut last Friday. The policemen were dealing with violent protests that had broken out in the city after Friday prayers over the amended citizenship law.
In a mobile phone video accessed by NDTV, Akhilesh Narayan Singh, who serves as Superintendent of Police (City) of Meerut, the second in command in the district, can be heard saying “go to Pakistan” to two men.
“If it is true that he made that statement in the video, then it is condemnable. Immediate action must be taken against him,” Mr Naqvi said, news agency ANI reported.
“Violence at any level, be it by police or by mob, is unacceptable. It can’t be a part of a democratic country. Police should take care that those who are innocent should not suffer,” the Union Minister said.
In the video, the police officer Akhilesh Narayan Singh can be seen walking in a narrow lane wearing riot gear. Some other policemen, also in riot gear, are seen walking with him.
Mr Singh stops at a place where a few Muslim men wearing skull caps are standing. “Where will you go? I will set this lane right now that you have given me this chance,” the officer tells two men standing nearby, in the video which is a little less than two minutes.
“We were just offering our Namaz,” one of them replies.
“That’s fine. But these black and blue badges you people are wearing, tell them to go to Pakistan,” Mr Singh can be seen telling the men. He continues his rant: “If you do not want to live here then go away. You come here but you sing praises about somewhere else?”
The three Muslim men, surrounded by a posse of policemen, only mutter this: “You are right”.
In the video, Mr Singh and the other policemen then proceed to move ahead but the seemingly infuriated officer returns to the same men at least thrice, and ends by saying, “I will throw every man from every house in jail.” He then signs off by saying, “I will destroy everyone.”
The Meerut Police said they also faced extreme stone-throwing and violence from protestors last Friday. With six deaths, the number of people who have died in the violence during the citizenship law protests in this western UP town is the highest for any single place across the state.
While most of the dead have gunshot injuries, Meerut Police have not owned up to firing and have released videos from a different location showing masked protesters firing from illegal weapons at cops.
“Some people saw us and shouted pro-Pakistan slogans. This made it clear they were up to some mischief. They ran inside the lane. We found some other people and we scolded them. But we spoke to them about the boys. They had come from the same lane. When they shouted pro-Pakistan slogans, we retaliated,” Akhilesh Narayan Singh said on Saturday, after the video emerged.
The police officer’s senior said Mr Singh’s “choice of words could have been better” under regular circumstances. “There were anti-India slogans being raised. Some people were distributing objectionable pamphlets. He went there and said, ‘You can go wherever you want but don’t cause destruction’,” said Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General of Police of Meerut zone.’
The senior police officer added the situation was sensitive on December 20. “In normal circumstances, the choice of words could have been better. But our officers showed restraint and did not misbehave with everyone. Those who are running the video now are trying to vitiate the atmosphere,” Mr Kumar said.