The residents of Balaghat district are used to pamphlets and posters being freely distributed —usually anti-establishment denouncements by Maoist forces active in the area. However, a new pamphlet war is doing the rounds in the district and WhastApp groups — one which questions the booking of policemen in criminal case over their alleged custodial beating of an RSS pracharak.
It all started when Suresh Yadav (28) was arrested from the local RSS office after he was accused of uploading objectionable posts about All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi. He tried to escape and took shelter in one Swami Asati’s house, from where he was subsequently nabbed. While in police custody, Yadav was beaten up and suffered internal injuries. He was admitted to the district hospital in Balaghat, which referred him to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Medical College Hospital in Jabalpur.
Following Yadav’s hospitalisation, Baihar police station in-charge Ziya ul Haq and other policemen were suspended and booked.
However the pamphlet, bearing the name of the Samast Police Karmi Parivar, Balaghat (police family Balaghat), questions the suspension and booking of the officers involved. Written in Hindi and circulated via WhatsApp, it says the police didn’t indulge in any excesses with the RSS pracharak, and that they only performed their duty to prevent a law and order situation due to Yadav’s offensive post.
The pamphlet is extremely critical of Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhoopendra Singh, who publically bemoaned police action against “Hamare Sangh Pracharak” (our Sangh pracharak). “Don’t the police belong to him and his government,” it questions.
Meanwhile, senior policemen in Balaghat, including inspector general DC Sagar, professed ignorance about the pamphlet. “I don’t know about any such pamphlet and don’t think any police jawan or officer is going to indulge in such act. However, we will look into the matter,” Sagar told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Sources in the state police services officers’ body in Bhopal said on Wednesday that nobody from the ASP’s side has so far talked to the association’s office bearers for any help.
The Balaghat district magistrate on Wednesday also ordered a magisterial inquiry into Yadav’s beating.
Additional district magistrate Manjusha Vikrant Rai will conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report within a month.
The additional district magistrate told HT that she will conduct probe into various aspects of the incident including beating of the RSS pracharak.