In a setback to the police personnel accused of brutally assaulting an RSS pracharak in Balaghat district last month, a local court on Friday denied anticipatory bail to two officers accused in the case.
Keeping in mind “the seriousness of the matter”, special judge Rajiv Kumar Srivastava denied legal relief to suspended additional superintendent of police Rajesh Sharma and suspended assistant sub inspector Suresh Vijaywar in the September 25 incident. Government counsel MM Dwivedi had argued that letting the duo out on bail would influence the investigation in the case.
On September 25, RSS pracharak Suresh Yadav was summoned to the Balaghat police station for questioning in connection with an “objectionable” social media post against All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi. Yadav reportedly fled from the police station and took refuge in a nearby medical shop. However, he was brought back and “brutally assaulted” in police custody.
Two cases were lodged against eight police personnel, including Sharma and Vijaywar, the next day. While the Balaghat police booked eight of them – including Sharma and Baihar police station in-charge Zia ul Haq – for attempted murder, looting and criminal intimidation, a separate case of trespassing and criminal assault was lodged against them by the medical shop owner, Swami Prasad Asati.
A day later, the state government announced the suspension of the eight accused.
Home minister, DGP maintain studied silence on the matter
Meanwhile, state home minister Bhupendra Singh and director general of police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla maintained a studied silence on the matter.
The previous day, media-persons had repeatedly questioned Bhupendra Singh on the controversy – especially the shunting out of two IPS officers from Balaghat and Congress national general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s tweets on the “helpless state police” – but to no avail. Later, Shukla evaded questions on the Balaghat incident during an interview with HT.
Speculation is rife that the top cop has offered to resign
Meanwhile, speculation is rife that the top cop has offered to resign in the wake of the allegedly biased action taken against the police personnel in Balaghat. The government has been accused of punishing the law enforcers concerned without giving them an opportunity to voice their side of the story.
The home minister, in a telephonic conversation with HT, denied reports suggesting Shukla’s offer to quit. The DGP couldn’t be reached for comment. The case is being probed by a special investigation team headed by deputy inspector general Chhatarpur KC Jain. However, an officer said it was unlikely that the accused police personnel would be arrested soon. Any action of the kind would demoralise the state police – who are already disgruntled over the “one-sided” action taken against superintendent of police Asit Yadav and inspector general DC Sagar on October 2, he added.