The Supreme Court on Thursday took strong exception to a senior Delhi Police officer slapping a young girl who was protesting against the rape of a five-year-old in the Capital.
Demanding an explanation from the police commissioner, a bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi described the incident as an "insult to the country".
Slamming the police for using unwarranted force against unarmed people, particularly women, the bench also directed the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary to file an affidavit explaining why a 65-year-old woman was assaulted in Aligarh during a protest against the rape and murder of a six-year -old girl. The court also hauled up the Uttar Pradesh police for having gone "berserk".
Expressing shock and anger over the attack, the bench said: "Even an animal won't do what police officers are doing every day in different parts of the country. Is your (UP) government left without any shame?"
"Commissioner of Police, Delhi (should) file an affidavit explaining the unwarranted use of force against young girls, who were demonstrating to protest the rape of a minor. Explain how the police can hit a young unarmed girl that resulted in the bleeding of her ear?" the bench said.
Advocate Wasim Qadri, appearing for the Delhi government, apologised for the incident, saying that the police officer concerned had been suspended and assured that it would not happen again. The bench was, however, not satisfied and said suspension was not enough.
"There has to be some accountability of senior officers. You do not have to apologise. They were only demonstrating. How can police hit them and that too it resulted in bleeding," the bench observed.