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Balaghat videos put MP govt on backfoot

cities Updated: Oct 19, 2016 07:22 IST

Former BJP MLA Bhagat Netam (talking over phone) outside the Baihar police station in Balaghat district on September 25.(HT file)

Three video clips purportedly showing a “severely injured” RSS worker walking around in a hospital put the BJP government on the backfoot on Tuesday with the opposition Congress accusing the administration of falsely implicating 10 police personnel to appease the Hindutva fountainhead.

RSS ‘pracharak’ Suresh Yadav had accused police personnel of assault at a police station in Balaghat after he was detained over an allegedly offensive social media post against MP Asaduddin Owaisi on September 25.

The government had promptly booked 10 personnel including assistant superintendant of police Rajesh Sharma and Baihar police station in charge Ziya ul Haq for attempt to murder and other charges. Services of three home guards were terminated.

IG, SP shifted for “wrong handling” of the case

After BJP leaders raised the issue, home minister Bhupendra Singh transferred Balaghat inspector-general DC Sagar and SP Asit Yadav for “wrong handling” of the case.

The clips, circulated on social media, purportedly show Yadav with minor bruises during a medical examination in a government hospital. He is seen walking to a washroom in Balaghat’s Baihar police station. HT could not verify the authenticity of the clips, apparently shot on mobile phone.

Yadav, 26, has since been discharged from a private hospital where he was undergoing treatment for the alleged life-threatening injuries.

The hospital is run by Dr Jitendra Jamdar, who is said to be close to the RSS and ruling BJP. Jamdar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by HT.

HT had first reported that Yadav’s medical examination by two government doctors on September 26 didn’t mention any life threatening injuries or suspected fracture.

The report — a copy of which is with HT — said Yadav had complained about body pain, including his private parts. It also mentioned abrasion, contusion and swelling in hands, shoulders and back.

The video and the first medical report gave the Congress a weapon to attack the government with.

‘Videos and medical report indicate that cops have been wrongly booked’

“The videos and medical report clearly indicate that the police personnel and home guards have been wrongly booked…With this the Congress charge of the cops being implicated in false case under RSS pressure has been vindicated,” said party spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi.

Refusing to speak on the contents of the video, the home minister told HT: “We’ve already instituted a SIT probe into (the) Balaghat episode and each and every fact is being examined carefully by the SIT.”

Video needs to be examined: RSS sanghchalak 

However, the RSS sanghchalak for the Mahakaushal region of MP and advocate Prashant Singh said the video needs to be examined.

“When has the video been filmed, before the police brutality or later. If the injuries were not so serious in nature why was the pracharak sent from Balaghat district hospital for treatment to Jabalpur on September 26 morning,” said Singh.

Former director general of police, SC Tripathi, said if the first medical report is to be believed and the videos are authentic, then booking the cops for attempt to murder doesn’t seem reasonable.

“It seems the case has been lodged against the policemen either out of over enthusiasm or under some pressure. It needs to be first verified whether the report of the government doctor is authentic or the one at the private hospital is genuine. Whichever report is found untrue, criminal action should be taken against the doctor who made and signed it,” said Tripathi.