Three police personnel, allegedly under influence of alcohol, picked up two Bhopal-based journalists of a leading Hindi daily on late Monday night and threatened to kill them in an “encounter” after dubbing them as operatives of the outlawed SIMI, prompting the police to launch a probe on Tuesday.
The journalists also alleged that the policemen thrashed them inside the Awadhpuri police station and forced them to sit near a urinal.
The police said they had suspended the three accused policemen pending an internal inquiry. The incident comes four days after change of guard in the police headquarters.
Dainik Bhaskar journalists Krishna Mohan Tiwari and Vijay Prabhat Shukla, said they were on their way home to Awadhpuri after finishing duty when a police team intercepted them after they stopped their motorcycles near Vidyasagar College at 1.30 am.
“We stopped our motorcycles near an ATM as I wanted to return my colleague Vijay Prabhat Shukla’s a tiffin box to him. Then a patrolling vehicle stopped near us. ASI Raghuveer Singh Dangi and head constables Subhash Tyagi and Santosh Yadav, who were all in a drunken state, came out of it and asked what we are doing near the ATM,” Tiwari told HT.
Despite the journalists showing their identity cards and telling them why they stopped, the police personnel accused them of trying to loot the ATM and dubbed them as Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists.
“Despite showing I-cards, ASI Dangi started abusing us and said we are not journalists but SIMI activists. We are standing near the ATM with an intention to loot it. When protested, Dangi started beating Shukla. Dangi also threatened to kill us in an ‘encounter’ and nobody would come to know about it,” Tiwari said.
Tiwari said the policemen then took them to Awadhpuri police station and beat them up. “They made us sit in a dirty place where the policemen used to urinate and spit. Other policemen present in the police station also started abusing us,” said Tiwari.
He said the ASI noted down their names, addresses and vehicle registration numbers before releasing them with a threat of dire consequences if they dare to narrate their ordeal to anyone.
Superintendent of police (south) Anshuman Singh told HT that an internal inquiry has been ordered under the supervision of city superintendent of police (Govindpura) Ajay Singh. “We have suspended the three accused policemen. The inquiry would cover as to why the accused policemen didn’t inform the town inspector and didn’t register a case against them (journalists) if they are terrorists and trying to loot the ATM,” said Anshuman Singh.
“The three policemen were sent for a medical check-up to ascertain if they were drunk,” he said.