TWO SENIOR police officials, including an additional superintendent of police, were booked in an attempt-to-murder case in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district Monday after they allegedly beat up an RSS activist in custody.
The RSS activist, Suresh Yadav, had been accused of posting a comment against Islam online. On Sunday, based on a complaint from a group of Muslims, Baihar police had lodged a case against Yadav for hurting religious sentiments and taken him into custody. In the same WhatsApp post, Yadav had also commented against AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
Baihar police station in-charge Zia-ul Haque, who was suspended along with a junior official, claimed that Yadav was not assaulted, only slapped once. “There was a scuffle because Yadav was not cooperating,” Haque told The Indian Express. “When he was brought to the police station he fled and hid in a medical store. We eventually nabbed him. Are we not supposed to act against accused? Are some people above the law?”
The RSS, on the other hand, alleged that Haque had entered the organisation’s office in Baihar and beaten up Yadav, a zilla pracharak, in the presence of other activists and dragged him out. “Yadav was also beaten up at the police station,’’ mahakaushal prant karyadhyaksha of Vishwa Samvad Kendra Prashant Pol told The Indian Express.
“Usually, the police refer such complaints to the cyber cell and not beat up accused,” Pol said. He claimed that there was nothing offensive about Yadav’s post. “He had only shared a post that talked about celebrating Eid in an environmentally-friendly way.”
Haque, for his part, alleged, “They raised slogans like ‘Send him to Pakistan’ and demanded that I be cut into pieces,” Haque said.
The police action against the RSS activist caused tension in the town, about 75 km from the district headquarters of Balaghat. RSS activists and other right-wing organisations wanted the police officials not just booked for attempted murder but was also immediately arrested.
In his early thirties, Yadav was first taken to a local government hospital and from there referred to Jabalpur on Monday.
Balaghat SP Asit Yadav said the attempt-to-murder case was registered against ASP Rajesh Sharma and Haque.
However, Haque said the case was filed against three other police officials.
“There was no need to arrest Yadav and things could have been handled differently,’’ a senior police officer said. He did not elaborate why a case under Section 307 was lodged against two police officers.