Chandigarh: Policemen in Punjab's Tarn Taran beat up a young woman and her father after she went to them with a complaint of sexual harassment. While two policemen have been suspended, the state administration has come under a scathing attack from activists and politicians.
The National Commission for Women said the state home minister must resign. "This barbaric incident took place when the girl went to the police for help, it is their duty to ensure that a judicial probe looks into the matter. The state home minister must also resign," NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma said.
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi vented her anger against the errant policemen and said that suo motu action could be taken against them. "The video is evidence. They have got proof. They can take suo motu action," she said.
Congress leader Sunil Jakhad said that this was not an "uncommon instance". "This is police brutality. There is no law and order in Punjab. Now (CM Parkash Singh) Badal has ordered an inquiry. Suspension and inquiry are not the cure for such things. It is just a reflection of how the Akali-BJP government is functioning. This is goonda raj in uniform."
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral has assured that the Punjab government will not spare the guilty policemen. "It is a shameful thing happening. Police insensitivity across the country is an issue. There is a need to look at the police training. These erring police officials will not be spared and strong action shall be taken after inquiry. No politician will be allowed to interfere," Gujral said.
Meanwhile, Raj Kumar Verka, Vice-Chairman, National Commission for Schedule Caste has also summoned the District Commissioner, SSP Tarn Taran and IG of Amritsar range along with the woman and the family to Amritsar for a hearing at 12 noon.
This came after two Punjab policemen in Tarn Taran slapped and beat up a woman in full public view. The police beat up the young woman and her father after she went to them with a complaint of sexual harassment.
The visuals showed the woman being manhandled by two policemen. The woman alleged she was sexually harassed by truck drivers. When her family confronted them, policemen nearby allegedly took the side of the truckers.
"My father and brother went to talk to the truck drivers who were harassing me. The policemen standing there asked what was happening. Once they learned what happened they took the drivers' side and started beating us," the woman alleged.
The Superintendent of Police is now looking into the matter and a report on the case will be submitted in a week.