Within a fortnight of its inauguration, the all-women police station officials are in the dock for putting a two and-a-half-years old child in a lock-up with her mother.
Panipat district legal services authority secretary Parminder Kaur has taken a suo motu cognisance of a WhatsApp video clip of the incident and marked an inquiry. Kaur, the chief judicial magistrate, told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that the case was serious in nature and she would send a detailed report to the Panipat superintendent of police (SP) for action.
“I came across the clip at around Sunday midnight, clearly showing a child peeping out of the lock-up. The video was sent on a WhatsApp group of legal aid providers of Panipat DLSA. As the mobile phone of the SHO was switched off, I called up the women police station number where I was told that two parties of discarded family had a petty domestic dispute,” she said. CJM has also demanded report if the police officials had a nod from DLSA for initiating mediation process.
Kaur said she had deputed a lawyer on the panel of legal aid service Vikas Rohil to get first hand information on why women were kept in the police custody and why they were produced before the executive magistrate around midnight.
Information gathered by HT said that Pushpa Rani had filed a police complaint against her daughter-in-law Aarti on September 2 for allegedly misbehaving with her (Pushpa’s) daughter Meenu.
Both parties were called for three consecutive days for amicable solution.
Family members in question were called at the all-women police station on September 6 where Aarti and Meenu allegedly clashed with each other. Both of them were allegedly put in the lock-up at the women police station.
Police invoked section 107/151 of Criminal Proceedings (CrPC) for breaching peace at the police station and produced them before the tehsildar past Sunday midnight. However, the CJM said that she was told telephonically by the police officials said that the Aarti had requested the police officials that she needed to breastfeed her daughter.
“However, the video clip I have clearly shows that mother and child were being pushed forcibly into the lockup. In any case, a child cannot be put behind bars and it is a clear violation of rules. Also, it seems to be a case of domestic violence and the police authorities should have forwarded the case to the secretary, DLSA for counseling and mediation as per the rules,” she said.
Sources said that the Panipat police authorities have started a departmental inquiry in the case. Meanwhile, a city-based organisation Team Awaz, which claimed to have secretly filmed the alleged police atrocities, said that role of the other police officials at women police station be probed.