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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Magisterial probe into woman's thrashing in Punjab

PTI  Chandigarh, March 05, 2013
First Published: 20:11 IST(5/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:14 IST(5/3/2013)

The Punjab government on Tuesday ordered a magisterial probe and registered a case into the alleged thrashing of a girl in public view by policemen in Tarn Tarn district of the state.

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The state police also tendered an unconditional apology.

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed the Tarn Taran District Magistrate to ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the incident and submit the inquiry report within three weeks.

The 22-year-old girl and her father were allegedly thrashed by policemen when they sought action against some truck drivers who they complained of teasing the girl and passing vulgar comments in full public view.

Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini sought an "apology" for the "innocuous" incident today.

"It is incorrect to raise hand or stick on a lady ... whatever may be the provocation," Saini told reporters in Chandigarh on Tuesday evening.

"If the magisterial inquiry points out at involvement of more cops, criminal and departmental action will be taken against them," the DGP said adding that "misconduct does take place in every department, but I apologise for what had happened (beating of a girl) in this case."

He said that preliminary investigations revealed involvement of two cops in the incident and both of them were suspended on Monday.

They will remain suspended till the probe is complete and further action will be taken after receiving the probe report.  

Badal termed the incident as an "unpardonable offence" and said anyone connected with this grave crime, even if he was influential, will not be spared.

Condemning the incident as "brutal and shameful" Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh lashed out at the state government's claims of "zero tolerance" towards the misconduct by its officials.

Maintaining that suspension of the erring cops was not the solution, Badal said that the state Home Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal seems to have lost control and appears to be busy in everything other than governance.

Singh said that it was not an isolated incident, but only one in a series of such incidents taking place under the nose of the deputy chief minister, who is also the state's home minister.

Questioning the claims of "zero tolerance" against misconduct or indiscipline, the PCC president said that the police only suspended the cops after the video clip showing them beating up the girl went viral on the net.

The former chief minister said, the way the policemen behaved with a girl who was complaining against eveteasing, only reflected the mindset of the cops patronised by the Akali jathedars.

Meanwhile, detailing the sequence of events, ADG (Law ansd order) Dinkar Gupta said there was a dispute at the marriage function between the passengers and the drivers.

The girl came out from the marriage house on Goindwal Road along with three other women and asked the drivers Balwinder Singh to drop them to their residence in Naushera Panun village, he said.

"There was an altercation between the taxi driver over the number of passengers and the girl used abusive language," Gupta said adding that the girl went inside the marriage house and told the gathering that she was molested by the taxi driver.

"After that there was a big fight between the taxi drivers and the members of the marriage party," he said and added that "the people of the marriage party were heavily drunk."

The taxi drivers fled the spot and the police reached to calm the situation.

He said that on the complaint of the girl, police have registered a case of alleged molestation against two persons, both taxi drivers, hired for the marriage party of the relative of the victim.

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