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‘They called me a Pakistani’: Police brutality lands elderly man in hospital

Two Panchkula cops suspended: 64-yr-old driver says he was called Pakistani, made to strip and beaten up by drunk ASI, constable on PCR duty — who also took his money

punjab Updated: Jan 23, 2018 10:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Pakistani,Police brutality,elderly man in hospital
Kin of Ramzan Mohammad (right) blocking the Mansa Devi Complex road in Panchkula on Monday. They demanded the dismissal and arrest of the policemen whose brutality landed the 64-year-old in GMCH-32, Chandigarh, with severe injuries on the hip.(Sant Arora/HT)

A 64-year-old man was brutally beaten up by two Panchkula cops, who were allegedly drunk, late on Sunday night.

While victim Ramzan Mohammad is undergoing treatment for severe injuries on his hip at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, the two cops — assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Karnail Singh and constable Jagjit Singh — have been suspended, but only after a protest.

Ramzan, who works as a driver for a Manimajra businessman and stays in Saketri, was on his way home when the cops on the police control room (PCR) duty stopped him near the railway underbridge in Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) around 12:15am.

Ramzan’s helper Tiwari, who was accompanying him in a new mini truck, said: “The cops started abusing us the moment we stepped out of the vehicle.”

“I told them that I am an Indian and even showed them my licence and Aadhaar card. But they kept on insulting me, calling me spy and anti-national.” — Ramzan Mohammad

Tiwari said Ramzan made the cops talk to their employer — Rakesh Goyal — and even showed them valid documents, but they impounded the vehicle. Following this, the cops allegedly took the two to the MDC police station.

Recalling his ordeal, Ramzan alleged the cops called him Pakistani. “I told them that I am an Indian and even showed them my licence and Aadhaar card. But they kept on insulting me, calling me spy and anti-national,” said Ramzan.

One of the cops then asked Ramzan and Tiwari to strip. When Ramzan resisted, they allegedly forcefully removed his clothes and kicked him repeatedly on his hips. “They then asked us to hand over our money to them. I had Rs 960 in my pocket while Ramzan had Rs 3,700,” said Tiwari.

Later, the cops called Rakesh Goyal, who then took Ramzan to hospital. Ramzan was bleeding profusely when he reached the Panchkula civil hospital around 1:30am.

After initial medication, he was referred to Chandigarh for surgery. Ramzan, who is already suffering from spine problem, will take some more days to recover and get discharged, said the victim’s family.

Suspension after kin protest

Flashing Ramzan’s blood-stained clothes, his son Mohammad Sadiq and other relatives blocked the main MDC road for several hours on Monday. “How can police justify beating up an elderly man who was returning home peacefully. He was tortured just to extort money,” he said.

Ramzan’s employer, Rakesh Goyal, said he has officially submitted a complaint against the cops. Later, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Manbir Singh said the ASI and constable have been suspended.

“We will also initiate police action against them after recording the victim’s statement,” he said. The protesters had been demanding their immediate dismissal and arrest. They also alleged there was another cop involved in the incident. He was the one who opened the gate of the police station.

The DCP said they were probing the matter and will take appropriate action against whosoever is involved. Meanwhile, area residents alleged PCR personnel had been harassing people at night in the name of checking vehicles for the past few months.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 10:24 IST