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Mar 11, 2013 at 03:06pm IST

SC takes up Punjab police brutality case, calls woman a braveheart

New Delhi: Coming down heavily on the Punjab police for beating up a woman who had complained of sexual harassment, the Supreme Court said that the woman was a 'braveheart' and that the policemen had behaved like animals. The apex court also issued notice to the union home secretary, chief secretaries, home secretaries and directors general of police (DGPs) of all states and administrators and police commissioners of union territories, asking them about steps taken by them in pursuance of its directions to effect reforms in the functioning of the police in the country.

The apex court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice Kurien Joseph also asked the DGP of Punjab to file an affidavit detailing the action taken against police officials for beating the woman in Tarn Taran near Amritsar on March 3. The court sought details of the responsibility fixed on senior police officers in the matter. The DGP has been given a week's time to file his affidavit. The court has also sought an affidavit from the senior superintendent of police, Tarn Taran. The incident was captured on camera and seen on TV by the entire country.

The court further asked the DGP Bihar and police commissioner Patna to explain the rationale for beating women teachers participating in protests seeking hike in their pay, which has remained unchanged for years.

The court has also sought the report of the Patna police commissioner, wherein he has justified police action against agitating teachers.

Fixing the next date of hearing on April 1, the court wondered what had happened to the sensibility of the people who witnessed the beating of the Dalit woman in Tarn Taran, but remained mute spectators.

The Supreme Court had last week taken suo motu cognisance of the beating by policemen of the Dalit woman in Tarn Taran, Punjab, and of women teachers agitating for higher salary in Bihar.

With additional information from IANS