Supreme Court Issues Notice to the Police for Beating up AAP Volunteers
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Government of India, the Delhi Police Commissioner and various other police officials responsible for beating up AAP volunteers who had gone to protest against non registration of an FIR for rape at the Gokulpuri police Station.
On 19thJune, many AAP volunteers had gone to the Gokulpuri Police Station to protest against the non registration of an FIR in a rape case. The volunteers included a 17 year old girl Beenu, who had earlier in April been slapped by an ACP Ahlawat when she was asking for the shifting of a 5 year old girl who was raped to a proper hospital. The ACP had to be suspended when media channels started running footage of this slapping incident and the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of this and called for the Police Commissioner’s explanation.
The police officials of the Gokulpuri police station then called police officials from other police stations, surrounded the volunteers and beat them up mercilessly, injuring some of them grievously. A volunteer who asked for water was offered urine by a policeman. Beenu was continuously told while she was being beaten up that this is what would happen to people who complained against the police. Two of her siblings were also called to the police station, beaten up, taunted and then arrested. The police officials themselves broke the window panes of the police station, tore up their own registers and then arrested the volunteers by registering an FIR that they had beaten up the police officers and damaged property at the police station. These volunteers with serious injuries were kept in detention for 3 days until they obtained bail from the sessions court on 22nd. The Sessions Judge observed that contrary to the claim of the Police and its Commissioner, there were hardly any injuries on the police officers, while some of the volunteers suffered grievous injuries.
The Supreme Court’s order is in response to a writ petition by 19 volunteers who were beaten up and arrested, seeking an independent investigation into the incident, severe action against the police officials involved and compensation to the volunteers. The petition points out that the Delhi Police and the Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has been deliberately and maliciously targeting AAP volunteers at the instance of the government, and particularly after the AAP had held a Press Conference exposing his nexus with Jailed arms dealer Abhishekh Verma. Even earlier, the police under instructions from Neeraj Kumar and his political masters had tried to falsely charge AAP Volunteers for the death of Inspector Tomar during the Damini protests. Tomar was later established to have died of a heart attack due to his preexisting medical condition. This is apart from the hundreds of cases filed by the Delhi police against AAP volunteers and leaders for the Coalgate and other peaceful protests and marches that AAP has organized against the rampant Corruption, crimes against women and other injustices perpetrated by the government and the police.
The Government of India and of Delhi as well as the police must understand that AAP and its volunteers are not going to be intimidated by such tactics. People who have sacrificed their jobs, their time and money for a mission to change the corrupt system in the country will continue to fight against all injustices and will not rest till we succeed in changing the police and other instruments of oppression in this country, and bring about a system that is more participatory and accountable to the people.