DAYS AFTER a video, purported to be of probationary IPS officer Bhagyashree Navtake of the Maharashtra Police speaking about booking Dalits and Muslims under fake cases went viral, the deputy superintendent of police posted at Majalgaon in Beed was on Monday transferred to the Aurangabad intelligence department.
The state home department has also asked Inspector General of Police Cherring Dorje to probe the veracity of the video and the claims made in it.
In the five-minute clip, a woman in denims and a black shirt is seen seated on a chair with a group of men on plastic chairs opposite her. The woman is heard saying she has filed false cases against 21 Dalits who filed complaints under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at her police stations. She is also heard saying that she has filed cases under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC against Muslims, ostensibly so that they are unable to procure bail easily.
“I saw you when you were brought in front of me, but I could not do anything as there were other policemen. I know you were pleading with me, but if I had stopped them, they would have objected. And a wrong message would have gone out that I am supporting you because I am a Maratha, as they have also seen how I have thrashed 21 Dalits and Muslims in the past six months… I have registered cases under Section 307 against Dalits, and hence a strong message was sent out that madam doesn’t spare anyone. If I had spared you, it would have looked like madam is a Maratha and hence stopped us from assaulting (Marathas),” she is heard saying.
She goes on to disclose her interrogation techniques, including, apparently, beating up Dalits.
Narrating another incident, the woman says while she was posted in Pimpri near Pune city, she didn’t arrest accused Marathas in a case for three days and instead told them to file a false case against the Dalit in question.
Despite repeated attempts, The Indian Express was unable to contact Navtake. Calls and messages sent to the DySP remained unanswered.
“An inquiry has been ordered. IG Dorje will carry out an inquiry to probe the authenticity of the clip and submit his report. During the course of the inquiry, Navtake would be asked to explain her stand,” said Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Parambir Singh.
Sources said a preliminary assessment of the clip has revealed that the video was shot in Navtake’s office in Majalgaon. The date and time of the video will be a matter of probe. Sources added that the men in the video are workers of the Maratha Kranti Morcha that had staged protests across the state seeking reservation in jobs and education for the Marathas.
The probe by IG Dorjee will focus on the authenticity of the clip, under what circumstances the claims were made and the veracity of these claims. “It will be probed whether the video has been doctored… Also, why were those seen in the video summoned to her office. The probe will also look into the veracity of the claims she has made,” said an official.
The initial probe has managed to zero in on who had shot the video. “However, a detailed inquiry by IG Dorje would reveal if the claims made in the video are indeed genuine,” said a senior officer from the DGP office.