Madhya Pradesh based lawyer Deepak Bundele had claimed that local police beat him up when he had gone to the Betul district hospital for treatment amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
Lawyer Bundele claimed that the police assaulted him after confusing him to be a Muslim.
A senior police officer in Madhya Pradesh has confirmed that the concerned police official has now been suspended.
Bundele claimed that he visited the district hospital for treatment on March 23, owing to his diabetic condition. Since the area was under prohibitory orders due to the nationwide lockdown, the police started beating him and only stopped when he informed them that he was a lawyer.
In his complaint, Bundele had asked the police for the video recording of the area where he was beaten up under the Right to Information Act.
However, the Public Information Officer – Additional Superintendent of Police Shraddha Joshi – rejected the query as Bundelehad not stated the purpose of seeking the footage under Section 8 of the Act, which exempts disclosure of information under certain circumstances.
The query is now pending before the Superintendent of Police (SP) i.e. the first appellate authority.
The entire case took a turn when two officers visited him for his statementon May 17, following the complaint made by Bundele
Bundele recorded the entire conversation where the policeman was heard apologising and requesting him not to pursue the matter, as he had confused him for being a Muslim owing to his “long beard.”
The suspended police officer stated, “Whenever there are Hindu-Muslim riots, one always sides with the Hindus, even Muslims know about it. But this happened, it was a mistake,“
When Bundele enquired if he was beaten up as he was confused for being a Muslim, the cop said, “Yes, and see your beard is long too. The thing is they mistook you as belonging to a different community, that’s why the incident happened. it’s absolutely nothing else.”
After this, Bundele wrote another complaint to the Inspector General of Police, Hoshangabadand the Chief Minister regarding these remarks.
However, even though the officer has been suspended, no FIR has been registered for the assault on Bundele by the police officers on March 23.