An assistant sub-inspector of the Punjab Police has been suspended and a magisterial probe ordered against him after seven youths alleged they were tortured, “forced to strip naked and pull each other’s genitals” by policemen at Sanour police station in Punjab’s Patiala district.
The suspended ASI, Narinder Singh, who was posted at Sanour police station, has denied all the charges. He claimed that the youths had misbehaved with him and also tried to make his video on their cell phones when he was issuing challans to them for traffic offences.
According to the youths, they were challaned because there were three people on the bike and the pillion rider was without a helmet at a police naka on Sunday night. They alleged that an “inebriated” Narinder Singh, accompanied by another policeman, first thrashed them at a petrol pump at Sanour and then bundled all of them into his Maruti Alto car to the police station, where they were forced to remove their clothes and pull each other’s genitals. They claimed that the policemen also beat them up with shoes and belts. Of the seven youths, four have lodged a complaint.
One of the complainants, Amardeep, 24, said: “The ASI took half-an-hour to fill one challan for triple riding. He was in an inebriated state and hurling abuses at us. My friends started filming him on mobile phone and aired it live on Facebook. He got a call from someone that the incident was live on Facebook. He got infuriated and started beating us.”
Another complainant, Harsh, who was pillion-riding an Activa scooter driven by Amardeep, accused the policemen of stripping and tourturing his brother Nitin.
Amardeep claimed that they were let off on Monday morning after “they made us sign a paper”. He said the policemen also deleted the Facebook videos from their mobile phones at the police station.
ASI Narinder Singh, however, said Harsh’s uncle, ASI Janak Raj, was a signatory to the “apology” by the youths after they were let off Monday morning. “They misbehaved with me while I was performing my duty. It was only after they offered an apology that I did not register a case. ASI Janak Raj is signatory to that apology,” he said.
On Tuesday, AAP Punjab co-president Dr Balbir Singh and newly appointed leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema visited the Patiala hospital to enquire about Amardeep. Rebel AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira also visited the hospital and sought action against the policemen.