A police team sent to rescue a woman and her Muslim friend from a mob that included members of the VHP turned attackers in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. A purported video of the woman being escorted away in a car shows police hitting the woman and taunting her for being with a Muslim man.
The video was shot by a policeman driving the car and shows a woman, her face covered with a scarf, sitting in the rear, next to a woman constable and another policeman. A male voice is heard using a derogatory reference to Muslims and “Sharam nahi aati (Don’t you feel ashamed)” when the woman constable slaps her on the head repeatedly.
The police team was sent to rescue the girl after members of vigilante groups “raided” the man’s rented apartment on September 23. After the video of the incident went viral on social media, the Uttar Pradesh Police suspended three constables and relieved one home guard of duty.
According to Ranvijay Singh, SP City, Meerut, the incident took place on September 23 under the jurisdiction of the Medical College police station. He said that the couple in question are both nursing students and the woman (20) is a Hindu while the man (22) is a Muslim.
“The boy doesn’t live in the college hostel and he and the girl went to his apartment in Jagriti Vihar. A crowd gathered and created a ruckus there. Police arrived at the spot and took them to the station for their protection. Their parents said that they did not want to file an FIR in the matter and both went back to their respective homes,” Singh said.
He also said that those in the mob included organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad but that it could be confirmed yet if they were the only organisation present. He said that according to the vigilante groups, the couple was in a “compromising position” and were creating a nuisance in the locality.
“On Tuesday, we were shown this video which was doing the rounds. Through the SHO of the station, it was confirmed that the girl being hit was the same as the incident on September 23. It was found that the woman constable who had been sent to protect her had behaved in this matter with her and filthy, uncalled for things were said to her. This is completely wrong and illegal,” he said.
“The constables were posted at Medical College police station itself. We took action against them within an hour.”
According to Singh, three constables — Salek Chand, Neetu Singh and Priyanka — present in the car have been suspended and a home guard has been relieved of his duty and a recommendation for his suspension has been sent to Lucknow. Additionally, an enquiry has been initiated, he said.