A video of a Congress worker forced to strip, allegedly at the Phul police station in Bathinda, is being shared widely on social media, bringing the cops under the scanner.
The video was reportedly shot in November 2015, when victim Dharam Singh of Bhai Rupa village, 40 km from here, and three others were picked by police while protesting against Punjab rural development and panchayats minister Sikander Singh Maluka.
Bhai Rupa residents protested against the incident on Tuesday, demanding registration of a case against cops and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, who they said were responsible for recording and sharing the video.
Dharam Singh, a Congress worker, said he along with Darshan Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Gurcharan Singh, an Aam Aadmi Party worker, was detained before Maluka’s visit to the village on November 17, 2015. They were protesting sacrilege incidents and taking over of a disputed land by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Dharam alleged that night four cops took him to Phul station house officer (SHO) sub-inspector Jai Singh’s room in his absence. Two of them were not in uniform, he said.
“In the SHO’s room, I was asked to remove my clothes. A cop in civil dress, who had his face covered with a handkerchief, shot my naked video,” he said, alleging SAD leaders’ hand behind it.
Dharam had also approached the Punjab human rights commission after the alleged incident. On the commission’s directions, the then Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) had conducted an inquiry and submitted its report on March 26, 2016, giving the cops a clean chit.
The Congress worker alleged cops conducted the inquiry without hearing him. “Now, the video has been uploaded on Facebook by the grandson of a senior SAD leader on Sunday afternoon,” he alleged. He lodged a complaint in this regard with Bathinda SSP Swapan Sharma on Tuesday.
Phul SHO Jai Singh said he is not aware if any objectionable video was recorded in his office in his absence. SSP Sharma said the incident took place before he joined office here. He said he has asked the protesters to lodge a formal complaint, and assured them of conducting an inquiry and taking necessary action against those found guilty.