Two cops were suspended on Tuesday after a video of a Congress worker forced to strip at the Phul police station was shared widely on social media.
The video was reportedly shot in November 2015, when victim Dharam Singh of Bhai Rupa village, 40 km from here, and three others were picked by police before they were to protest against Punjab rural development and panchayats minister Sikander Singh Maluka.
Bhai Rupa residents protested against the incident on Tuesday, demanding registration of a case against cops and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, who they said were responsible for recording and sharing the video.
Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) Swapan Sharma met the protesters and assured them of action. Later in the evening he suspended head constable Ram Singh and constable Harinder Singh of the Phul police station. “A case is being registered against them,” he told HT.
Victim Dharam Singh, a Congress worker, alleged he along with Darshan Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Gurcharan Singh, an Aam Aadmi Party worker, was detained before Maluka’s visit to the village on November 17, 2015. They were protesting sacrilege incidents and taking over of a disputed land by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Dharam alleged that night four cops took him to Phul station house officer (SHO) sub-inspector Jai Singh’s room in his absence. Two of them were not in uniform, he said.
“In the SHO’s room, I was asked to remove my clothes. A cop in civil dress, who had his face covered with a handkerchief, shot my naked video,” he said, alleging SAD leaders’ hand behind it.
Dharam through his son had also approached the Punjab state human rights commission after the alleged incident. On the commission’s directions, the then Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) had conducted an inquiry and submitted its report on March 26, 2016, giving the cops a clean chit.
The Congress worker alleged cops conducted the inquiry without hearing him. “Now, the video has been uploaded on Facebook by the grandson of a senior SAD leader on Sunday afternoon,” he alleged. He lodged a complaint in this regard with SSP Sharma on Tuesday.
Phul SHO Jai Singh claimed he was not aware if any objectionable video was recorded in his office in his absence.