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Girl slapped by cop: SC asks police chief for explanation

April 25, 2013 20:19 IST

Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar drew the ire of the Supreme Court which sought an explanation from him for a senior police officer slapping a girl protesting rape of a minor, saying such an incident is an "insult" to the country.

"Even an animal won't do what the police officers are doing everyday in different parts of the country," the court said and wondered how many times Mahatma Gandhi would have died due to police brutality had he been alive today and indulged in protest.

Slamming police for using unwarranted force against unarmed people particularly women, a bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi also directed Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to file affidavit explaining why a 65-year-old woman was assaulted by the police in Aligarh during a protest against the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.

"Commissioner of Police, Delhi to file affidavit explaining the unwarranted use of force against young girls who were in demonstration to protest the rape of minor. Explain how can police beat a young unarmed girl that resulted in the bleeding of her ear?," the bench said.

Advocate Wasim Quadri, appearing for Delhi government, apologised for the incident saying that the concerned police official has been suspended and assured that it will not happen again.

The bench, however, was not satisfied and said that suspension is not enough and there has to be some accountability of senior officers.

"You don't have to apologise. What is it? They were only demonstrating. How can police beat them and that too it resulted in bleeding," the bench said.

Also taking cognisance of another case of police brutality in Aligarh, the apex court said that the incident is "devastating" and grilled the state government counsel Gaurav Bhatia over the state of affairs in UP.

"Is your government left with any shame?" the bench asked Bhatia and recalled the resignation by Lal Bahadur Shastri, hailing from the same state, from the post of the railway minister taking moral responsibility following a rail accident.

"Where has your sense gone?" the bench asked, adding, "How can police officers beat an unarmed lady?"

"Explain the stand of the state on the incident that occurred in Aligarh and the occurrence of the devastating incident in which a 65-year-old unarmed innocent lady was pushed to ground by police and brutal force was used," the bench said.

"The police official rushed towards the lady as if he would kill her. He pushed her like a doll. There is no words available to describe the incident," it said.

Sending a stern warning to police force, the bench said if such kind of incidents are repeated then it will go beyond the usual norms to deal with it.

"We are making it clear if such incidents are repeated the culprit will get in from this court. We can also go beyond the usual norms and deal with it".

"We are getting reports of mothers, sisters and wives getting beaten. What type of civilised society we are living in. Girls are being beaten," the bench said.

The court made the observations with regard to a recent protest at a Delhi hospital during which an ACP slapped a young girl at least four times. The ACP was later suspended.

The second incident which the bench took note of was reported from Aligarh where an elderly woman was assaulted by the police during a protest against the alleged rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.

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