Nearly two years after an RSS pracharak was allegedly beaten up in police custody in Baihar town of Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district, the state government has demoted three police officers and withheld one pay increment of an Additional SP-rank officer.
RSS Zila pracharak Suresh Yadav was arrested from the organisation’s office in Baihar town on September 25, 2016, after a group of Muslims lodged a complaint against him, accusing him of making a remark that hurt their religious sentiments. In a complaint lodged later, Yadav had alleged that he was beaten up and tortured in police custody.
On the night of Yadav’s arrest, RSS activists had gheraoed Baihar Police Station, demanding action against policemen who took him into custody. Thereafter, a case under several charges, including attempt to murder and trespass, was filed against the police officers, including Addl SP Rajesh Sharma and Inspector Ziaul Haq.
A day after the incident, RSS gave an ultimatum to the government to arrest the police officers or face protests. The police officers had argued that they had to use force because Yadav refused to cooperate with the team that went to arrest him, but denied that they assaulted him. Not only were the officers of the police station suspended, the government later transferred the district SP and the Range IG. After drawing flak for the action against police officers, the state government formed a SIT to probe into the incident.
The SIT report was submitted last year, but was never made public. Based on the findings, departmental inquiries were initiated against the four officers who have now been found guilty.
Sources in police headquarters told The Indian Express on Tuesday that Addl SP Sharma’s increment has been withheld — with cumulative effect — and Haq has been demoted to the rank of a sub-inspector. Sub-inspector Anil Ajmeri and assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Suresh Vijayvar have been demoted respectively to the post of ASI and head constable. The four officers will now get orders of their new posting.
A Jabalpur-based RSS activist said the punishment meted out was not sufficient.
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