Pune City Police has ordered a probe after a 28-year-old man claimed he had been beaten by police in custody and forced to smell the shoes of a person he had got into a dispute with.
The man’s father, Suresh Khole (51), filed a complaint application before the senior police inspector of Khadki police station and the Pune city police commissioner, seeking action against the police personnel.
“I have been informed about the complaint (filed by the man’s father). I have asked the assistant police commissioner of the Khadki division to conduct an inquiry. Suitable action would be taken based on facts,” Pune City Police commissioner K Venkatesham said.
The man, Mayur Khole, a resident of Patil Estate slum in Shivajinagar, says that he belongs to the Hindu Matang community, and heads an ‘Ayodhya Group’ of over 100 local youths. His father Suresh has been associated with Patit Pavan Sanghatna, a Hindutva group, for many years.
“We were preparing for the Ram Navami festival. I got to know there was a dispute between a member of our group with local Muslims. So I circulated an audio message on WhatsApp, asking group members to gather near the temple in my area on April 8,” Mayur, who says he is an autorickshaw driver, told The Sunday Express.
“Police took me to the Mariaayegate police chowki in the morning and said I would not be allowed to go out without their permission. I was kept there the whole day. In the evening, police sub-inspector Madan Kamble and other policemen thrashed me badly, saying I have a problem with Muslims. They forced me to smell the shoes of a Muslim person with whom there was a dispute. The police also asked me to lick shoes and when I refused to do so, they thrashed me even more,” he claimed.
Mayur claimed the police released him at night “after taking in writing from me that I circulated the message on social media and will not do such an act again”. He claimed that he started vomiting some time after he was released. “I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Sai Samarth hospital in Kasba Peth. I took discharge on April 11 as I was not able to afford further treatment,” he said.
Hospital staff confirmed that Mayur had been admitted, and that he had claimed assault by police. They said he had been kept in the ICU for a day, and that police had visited the hospital. The hospital staff said Mayur had taken “discharge against medical advice”.
The Khadki police station have written to the hospital seeking details of Mayur’s medical treatment following the complaint filed by his father.
Senior Police Inspector of Khadki police station, Bhagvat Misal, denied the allegations made by Mayur and his father. “Mayur was not picked up. He himself came to the police following a quarrel involving a member of his group. He was not detained or beaten. He is making false allegations against the police,” Misal said.