Police thrash men before a cheering public alleging riotingtext_fields
Vadodara: After a group of men, allegedly Muslims, disrupted a Garba event organised in Gujarat's Kheda district, police in mufti brought the accused to the Garba spot and thrashed them in public as a punishment before taking them into a police van, The Indian Express(TIE) reported.
Footage of a man wearing a pistol on his hip, thrashing men with a lathi while another man held them against an electricity pole, has gone viral. At least four men were flogged in the mentioned way as per the video clip, while a large crowd cheered around.
Indravadan Patel, sarpanch of Undhela village in Matar taluka, where the incident happened, told TIE that the police arrested 43 accused who caused clashes at the Garba and brought them to the spot to punish them in public. However, the identities of the thrashed have not been available so far, while police confirmed that they were of the Muslim community.
As per the police account, the Garba was organised next to a madrasa. Men from the Muslim community tried to halt the event, pelted stones and incited riots. The commotion had injured two security personnel. Forty-three were identified and booked as well as a mob of unidentified 150 people, including women.
Congress here demanded action against those who flogged the men, who were apparently police personnel. Both demanded them to be suspended.
Meanwhile, Abdul Karim Malek, president of Madhya Gujarat Muslim Samaj Seva Samiti, said that the conflict there arose out of a misunderstanding that there was a rumour that a riot had broken out. There was shouting and screaming at the time of Garba, which were taken as riots by mistake.
But, stone pelting happened from both sides, and the same sparked the clash, he said. The organisation is going to move legally against the officers who publicly thrashed and harassed the men, he added.
All the accused, including the unidentified mob, have been booked under various IPC sections, including 307 (attempt to murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon likely to cause death) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs), TIE reports.