Wrong to hit woman: Punjab DGP
Chandigarh, March 5 : On the defensive after its personnel were caught on camera thrashing a young woman in public in Tarn Taran district, Punjab Police Tuesday said that it was "examining all evidence" of the incident.
Punjab Police Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini told media here: "Whatever the facts may be, whatever the provocation, it was wrong to raise a hand or lathi (cane baton) on a lady."
Saini said two police personnel, seen in the video hitting the young woman Sunday, would remain under suspension till the magisterial inquiry ordered by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was completed.
Defending the police personnel, Saini said that "they also have their point of view".
"The fight was between two groups and police had responded to that. There are different versions to the incident. We are examining them," he said.
The young woman, who was slapped, pushed, abused and hit with a baton by policemen in uniform demanded strict punishment for her tormenters.
"I have been humiliated and beaten in public by them. Why is the chief minister not coming to my rescue now," the victim asked Tuesday.
Four to five police personnel were caught on camera assaulting the victim and her father after she reportedly complained to police against some taxi and truck drivers harassing her near a marriage venue.
The policemen also beat up her father and pushed him to the ground. His turban was also thrown away.
The incident was recorded by a bystander on his mobile phone Sunday and was aired by TV news channels.
Badal directed the Tarn Taran district magistrate to ascertain the causes and circumstances which led to the incident and submit the inquiry report within three weeks.
Badal said: "This was an unpardonable offence and anyone connected with this grave crime, howsoever influential he may be, would not be spared and brought to book as per the law of the land."
The DGP Monday suspended two policemen seen in the video.
"The guilty policemen should be dismissed from service and a case should be registered against them," the father of the victim said.
Area police officers initially denied that such an incident took place.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the state home minister, asked Saini to initiate strict action against the policemen for assaulting the woman.
He said that there would be zero tolerance to any misconduct, especially against women.
Opposition Congress leaders condemned the assault on the woman saying Punjab had become a "lawless" state under Badal's government.
Leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar said the assault on the woman was "shameful".
"We have been highlighting how Punjab has become a lawless state. The latest incident confirms this. Strict action should be taken against the policemen involved," Jakhar said.