The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday issued an apology after a photograph of a group of policemen were seen escorting men dragging the body of a man who was lynched by a mob.
"We apologize for the incident. All the three policemen have been transferred to Police Lines and an enquiry has been ordered," the UP Police tweeted.
The state police came in the eye of the storm after a photograph emerged on social media where a group of men can be seen dragging the body of a man who was lynched by a mob in Uttar Pradesh's Hapur district.
In the photograph, three police personnel can also be seen along with the group.
In its clarification, the police said that the photograph was taken shortly after the arrival of the police and "the non-availability of the ambulance" led to the mishandling of the victim's body.
UP Police also admitted that the policemen should have been more sensitive in their conduct.
"Because of non-availability of an ambulance at that moment, the victim was carried in the manner. Admittedly, the policemen should have been more sensitive in their conduct," read the message from UP director general of police (headquarters).
"The humane concerns got ignored in the urgency of saving a life and maintaining law and order," it added.
However, the police received flak on social media for the controversial photograph.
Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar was one of the many internet users to have condemned the police action.
"How can roads be safe when your own officers quietly watch a mob lynch a man to death @Uppolice ????????" she tweeted in response to a UP Police tweet promoting road safety.
"Just look at men in uniform from @Uppolice. Making department proud or bringing in sheer shame is useless to ask when we know how normal it is these days to brutally lynch a random Muslim in the name of a cow," one Twitter user wrote.
"The @Uppolice escort provided to the #lynch mob was more worried about being photographed," said another user.