Lucknow: Week after a video surfaced showing a Hindu woman being assaulted by policemen after she and her Muslim friend were targeted by right-wing activists in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, the administration swept into action and transferred the cops to Gorakhpur, the home base of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
However, the transfer of the policemen has raised eye-brows as many feel it is more a reward than punishment.
What is more startling is that not even a single attacker, allegedly linked to the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has been arrested. Out of 18 attackers, some were clearly seen on camera thrashing the Muslim man.
The report of ‘VIP’ transfer comes days after state police chief OP Singh assured swift action after the video surfaced. "The Meerut incident is an act of gross imprudence by a few errant cops. Irresponsible and insensitive behaviour by UP cops will not be tolerated. The job of a policeman is to maintain the highest standards of probity, which must be upheld at all times. Corrective action is being taken," he had said on Twitter.
No case has been filed against the police personnel who beat the Hindu woman and watched the man being beaten by goons. Both of them are medical students.
The Uttar Pradesh police insisted that the three cops seen in a video beating and abusing the woman inside a police van have been transferred to Gorakhpur to ensure a "fair investigation".
Neetu Singh, Salek Chand and Priyanka are now posted in a constituency Yogi Adityanath has represented in parliament for five consecutive terms. A fourth policeman Shahensar Pal, who was also in the vehicle, remains in Meerut.
"I don't want to return to college because I am scared and embarrassed. I get frequent threat calls from the accused and their relatives... they say they will come to my college and kill me," NDTV quoted the Muslim man as saying.
The man said he does not expect the police to provide protection, given that he has not even been called to record a statement yet.
According to him, the incident took place on September 23 when the woman, who studies in the same medical college, dropped by his home to collect a book.
"She was just about to leave when a group of people came along and started asking me my name. They then began to beat me up, saying that it was not right for two people from different communities to meet like this. They told me that it always starts with friendship, then advances to romance and love jihad," the man said.
The man was allegedly beaten until his eyes and nose began to bleed. The attackers also beat the man in his private parts. When a police emergency van arrived the spot after a while; the cops picked up the woman and left.
In the van, the woman was slapped repeatedly by a female cop, Neetu Singh, while others abused her and kept taunting her with questions like: "There are so many Hindu men, why go for a Muslim?"