Three Chhattisgarh police personnel have been suspended after a video emerged of them assaulting, harassing and touching a young child inappropriately in Raipur. Senior police officials told The Indian Express that the officers have been arrested and are likely to face criminal prosecution as well.
The incident is reported to have taken place on August 9. In a video that first came to light late on Tuesday night, a young boy, seemingly carrying a plastic bag in his hand, is being manhandled by three men, all of whom have been identified as police constables, one of them even in uniform.
In the video, the child can be heard screaming and the three men can be seen pulling his hair, twisting his ears and laughing loudly. One of the constables is seen holding him, while the other seems to be touching his private parts.
Senior police officials said that preliminary enquiries reveal that two young boys were “chased” out of a train by a thus far unidentified man who was accusing them of stealing a mobile phone. While one of the boys ran away, the three policemen who were nearby caught hold of this child. “What they did further is for all to see, and then let him go. We are now tracing the child, and will try and get a statement registered,” a senior police official said.
Arif Sheikh, Superintendent of Police, told the Indian Express, “The three policemen were attached to the police lines when the video emerged. We have taken cognisance and have now even suspended them. Investigations are on.”
Anand Chhabra, Inspector General of Police, Raipur range said, “I condemn this act, and nothing justifies the act of the policemen. We are in the process of tracing the child, and are looking at avenues of further action.”
When contacted, DM Awasthi, Director General of Police, told the Indian Express, “I have taken cognisance of the case, and have spoken to my colleagues, and recommended the filing of a criminal case. No criminality by men in uniform will be tolerated at all. Even in the recent past, we have taken criminal action against errant police officials if there is prima facie evidence. There can be no excuse for behaviour like this.”