Two policemen in Bihar were suspended on Tuesday after video footage aired by TV channels showed them joining a mob in assaulting a petty criminal and dragging him on the street with one of his legs tied to a motorcycle.
The incident took place on Monday in Bhagalpur’s Nathnagar area. The two have been identified as ASI Lal Bahadur Singh and constable Ram Chandra Rai. <b1>
Describing it as a “heinous and cowardly act”, Principal Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said the SP has been asked to conduct a detailed inquiry. “We have been asking policemen to be people-friendly. This is just not acceptable,” he said.
According to reports, a mob caught Aurangzeb near Manaskamna Temple while he was trying to flee after snatching a gold chain from a woman.
The mob kicked and punched the suspect and later informed the police. On their arrival, the policemen too joined the mob and thrashed the hapless man begging for mercy. Encouraged by the mob, the policemen then dragged him on the road tied to their motorcycle by his leg, till he fell unconscious.
DIG (Eastern Range) Girjanandan Sharma and SP Jitendra Singh Gangwar, however, defended the police personnel and said the act had not been intentional. They said the suspect fell off the motorcycle accidentally as he was being taken to the police station. But the two policemen had been suspended on the basis of video footage, they said.
They could not explain why the man was tied by his foot to the bike.
The SP said that the police were trying to procure the full video footage of the incident to ascertain exactly what happened. "This will also help us identify the persons who assaulted the culprit," he said, adding Aurangzeb had been sent to jail.
The DIG said Aurangzeb, in his statement before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, has not levelled any charges against the police.
Sharma said the suspect had been jailed twice previously for theft.