Two head constables with the Faridabad Police have been suspended and three special police officers (SPOs) sacked after a video showing them hitting a woman with a belt surfaced on social media Monday. Police said two people have also been arrested in this regard.
According to police, the incident is from October last year, and took place at a park that falls under the jurisdiction of the Adarsh Nagar police station, where all five accused were deployed at the time.
“Adarsh Nagar police received information that a man and a woman were doing something wrong in the park. When police reached the spot, the man fled. The police personnel behaved indecently with the woman and hit her while questioning her. A video of this went viral today,” said Sube Singh, PRO of Faridabad Police, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Sanjay Kumar, immediately suspended the two police personnel and three SPOs involved in the incident.
The 4 minute 24 second video shows the woman, dressed in a sari, standing in a park with three men — one in uniform and two in plainclothes — confronting her.
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While the officer in uniform asks her for a contact number and she begins answering his question, one of the two men in plainclothes walks towards her, holding a belt in his hand. He is, however, stopped by the man in uniform who continues to note down the number the woman is giving him.
In the seconds that follow, however, the men seem unconvinced by the contact number the woman provides, and the man holding the belt hits her with it. He hits her again a second time a few seconds later, demanding that she give them the correct number. He and the other person in plainclothes can then be seen walking around her in circles, demanding the number.
The men can later be heard demanding to know what she was doing when police reached the spot. As she is hit with the belt for a third time, the woman begs the men to “at least listen to what I am saying”, to which the one with the belt responds, “We are listening, you keep talking.”
The video ends with the accused telling her she has “five minutes” to “tell the truth”.
The accused have been identified as head constables Baldev and Rohit, and SPOs Krishna, Harpal, and Dinesh. Police said that while Baldev was the man in uniform, Rohit was the one armed with the belt. The third person in plainclothes is Harpal, said police, adding that the other two accused can be heard but not seen in the recording.
A case has been registered against them under IPC sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) at Adarsh Nagar police station.
“Two of the SPOs, Harpal and Dinesh, have been arrested. The others will also be arrested soon. Efforts are being made to find the woman. Once we contact her, the woman’s statement will be recorded. Every possible justice will be given to the victim,” said PRO Singh.
In a series of tweets condemning the incident Monday evening, Additional DGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Virk stated, “Haryana police department has taken a strong view about the incident of beating of a woman by police personnel that appeared in media today… Incident happened in October 2018 and was not reported to police by the victim. Haryana Police is committed to respect and safety of women, and would not hesitate to take strictest possible action even against its own personnel if they act in an unlawful manner.”