A day after a Meerut BJP councillor was arrested and a sub-inspector transferred over a late night brawl in a restaurant on the Delhi-Dehradun highway, a group of three legislators and a party MP met the district SSP Sunday, and told him that the action taken was “one-sided”.
They demanded that an FIR be lodged against the policeman and the woman lawyer who had accompanied him, accusing them of having “misbehaved with the councillor and his staff members in an inebriated state”.
On Friday, S-I Sukhpal Panwar and a woman lawyer arrived at the restaurant on the Delhi-Dehradun Highway around 11.30 pm. Police said they were both inebriated and scuffled with the waiter when there was a “delay” in serving them. While Panwar was seen (in a video of the incident that went viral) slapping the waiter, the woman took out a pistol and aimed it towards the staff, they added. The staff then allegedly contacted councillor from ward no. 40 and restaurant owner Manish Chaudhary, who alerted senior police officers. He reached the restaurant and argued with the lawyer and the sub-inspector. While the policemen allegedly continued to abuse the staff, Manish directed his staff to bolt the restaurant doors from inside, slapped the officer thrice and then pushed him to the ground.
While Meerut police arrested Chaudhary under IPC sections including that of dacoity, S-I Panwar was transferred to police lines. No action was taken against the woman lawyer.
“The action taken is not totally justified. Sending him (Chaudhary) to jail was an over-reaction on the part of Meerut police.We have told the SSP to go for an unbiased inquiry and lodge a case against Panwar and the lawyer,” said Meerut MP Rajendra Agarwal after meeting the SSP with party legislators Satya Prakash Agarwal (Cantonment), Somendra Tomar (Meerut South) and Jitendra Satwai (Siwal Khas).
“We are also of the view that what he (Chaudhary) did was not justified but we are not ready to accept the one-sided police action. The cop and woman lawyer are also equally responsible and hence legal action should be taken against them too,” said Agarwal.
“We have not taken biased action in the case, but will fix punishment for all those involved if they are found guilty,” said Meerut SSP Akhilesh Kumar.
A delegation of the Sanyukt Vypar Sangh led by its district unit chief Naveen Gupta also met the SSP at his residence Sunday and demanded action against Panwar and the lawyer. “The SSP told us a detailed investigation will be conduction and he will definitely take action against both if they are found guilty during the course of the inquiry,” Gupta told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, another FIR was registered late Saturday night at Kankarkheda police station against eight named and 72 unnamed BJP workers who allegedly created a ruckus at the police station where Chaudhary was detained before being sent to jail. Police have also sought details from the Meerut Development Authority (MDA) and municipal corporation about the restaurant and a gym owned Chaudhary.
“We have sought property details as we have information that the two properties owned by him are not legal. We will take action in this regard if any discrepancy is found,” said Additional SP (Meerut) Satpal Ankil.