An inquiry by the JCP (Northern Range) has found that eight policemen, who clashed with a sword-wielding tempo driver Sunday, are constables who were recruited into Delhi Police just three months ago, and started beating the driver with lathis after one of the Assistant Sub-Inspectors, who has now been suspended, asked them to.
Sources said the inquiry is being conducted by JCP and ACP-rank officers, who have recorded statements of all policemen. The violence, which broke out after the tempo bumped into a police van, had prompted the Home Ministry to seek a report from the police chief.
While FIRs have been filed against three policemen as well as the driver and his son, the incident has taken a political turn since the driver is from the Sikh community. “On Monday evening, all suspended policemen were called to record their statements at the DCP’s office. Later in the evening, the eight constables were also called,” a source said.
The constables told inquiry officers that they cleared their exam in 2018 and were posted with the first battalion of the Delhi Armed Police after recruitment three months ago. “Every second day, they were sent to the North West district to perform duties in the market and look after arrangements at various police stations. On Sunday, around 10 constables reached the police station along with their in-charge, who went inside to register their entry. They were standing in the parking area when one of the suspended ASI’s came and screamed that a man with a sword was behaving violently,” a source said.
“The constables told investigators that another ASI then asked them to come out to help. Eight of them rushed to the spot and saw the tempo driver injure ASI Yograj Sharma, who was in plainclothes, with a sword. The other ASI then told the constables to attack the man, and they started beating him with lathis,” the source said.
Sources said all eight men were shown footage of the incident and asked to explain their actions. “During inquiry, the SHO’s role also came under scanner. The incident took place at 6.35 pm but the DCP (North West) came to know about it at 7.18 pm, when some mediapersons called her. The DCP then called the SHO and he told her about it,” the source said. When contacted, Special CP (Law and Order, Northern Range) Sandeep Goel said, “The inquiry is still going on.”