An Ahmedabad Metropolitan court on Tuesday issued summons to six policemen in connection with the Chharanagar violence in July.
The court stated that there is prima facie case against the six policemen in connection with the alleged atrocities committed against Chhara community members. The court asked the policemen to appear before it on October 11.
“An officer does not get authority to commit an offence under the guise of an official duty,” the court observed in its order before issuing summons to the policemen.
The six policemen are Joint Commissioner of Police Ashok Kumar Yadav, the then Deputy Commissioner of Police Shweta Shrimali, Sardarnagar police inspector R N Virani, police sub-inspector D K Mori, police sub-inspector D G Patel and woman police sub-inspector J G Dhillon. They have been summoned for offences like voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapon, using obscene language, mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees, criminal intimidation and abettment.
The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Naseer Siddiqui passed the order while acting on a complaint moved by Manoj Tamanche, a resident of Chharanagar and practising lawyer. The incident took place in the intervening night of July 26 and 27 when Chhara community people had a major scuffle with Sardarnagar police station officials following an alleged assault on two policemen.
As per police, tension erupted when local police sub-inspector D K Mori was on a patrolling duty in a private car along with a head constable. Mori alleged that he had stopped two youths of Chhara community on the basis of doubt and sought to check their two-wheelers. However, the two youths allegedly started arguing with him and then attacked him, robbed him of his gold chain and ran away from the spot while threatening him to stay back till they return. Within minutes, Mori alleged, a mob of around 150-200 persons attacked him and he immediately called for more police personnel for help. As per Mori, the mob – armed with sticks, iron rods and sharp edged weapons – had allegedly pelted the police force with stones. Following this, police had used lathicharge to control the situation. Police had arrested 29 persons in connection with the case that included Manoj Tamanche too.
According to Tamanche, “We did not know what happened to police that night with one of our youths. But, suddenly they became violent and started assaulting people from Chharanagar indiscriminately while also damaging vehicles. I was assaulted, my wife was assaulted and many others were assaulted too. Not only that, we were arrested. We had complained about police atrocities at the time of our production before the court.”
“Later, I filed a compliant against the cops before the court along with a lot of evidence including CCTV footages collected from various areas in Chharanagar. And based on that evidence, the court has passed the order today and summoned the policemen,” Tamanche said. In his order, Magistrate Siddiqui has observed that there is prima facie case against the six cops and that the acts allegedly committed by them cannot be called in discharge of their official duty and therefore there was no necessity to get prior sanction from the state government to initiate action against them.