Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Gujarat HC seeks govt’s clarification on alleged police flogging in Kheda

In a contempt petition filed by the victims of an alleged flogging incident in Gujarat’s Kheda, the division bench of the Gujarat High Court has sought clarification from the government regarding whether the police officials had indeed flogged the petitioners.

The state, however, refrained from directly addressing the court’s query. The court on Monday adjourned the matter for further consideration on Thursday (July 6), allowing the state to present additional material to support its position.

The contempt petition was filed by four Muslim victims and a woman who claimed illegal detention, alleging that the police did not adhere to the D.K. Basu guidelines set by the Supreme Court for arrest and detention procedures.

The petition named 15 police personnel, including the Ahmedabad range Inspector General (IG), Kheda Superintendent of Police (SP), constables from Matar police station, and officers from the local crime branch.

According to the petitioners, on October 4, 2022, they were brought to Masjid Chowk in Undhela village, where they were tied to a pole and subjected to a severe beating by 13 police personnel wielding lathis. The entire incident was captured on video and circulated by the police themselves.

The division bench, comprising Justices A.S. Supehia and M.R. Mengdey, took up the matter on July 3.

The state’s public prosecutor, Mitesh Amin, argued that the alleged flogging incident followed a previous incident of stone pelting at a garba venue, which was a communally sensitive area.

Amin emphasized that controlling the law and order situation took precedence over strictly adhering to the D.K. Basu guidelines.

Justice Supehia requested a specific statement from the state regarding the occurrence of the incident. The judge emphasized that the court needed a clear affirmation or denial of the incident.

Amin, while not justifying any wrongful acts, aimed to present the police’s perspective and their duty in maintaining law and order during a sensitive situation.

Justice Supehia reiterated that the court’s focus was solely on establishing whether the flogging incident occurred or not.

The court acknowledged the importance of controlling communal sensitivity but highlighted the need to address the incident and its legality. The prosecutor expressed his intention to present evidence to refute the petitioners’ claims.



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