PUCL Bulletin, April 2004
Who says begaar and beating is illegal, meet Delhi police
-- By Pushkar Raj
[ Full Report ]
Delhi police personnel from Chitranjan Park police station, one of the up market colonies of South Delhi, picked up six young men between the ages of 16 to 22 and made them clean their police station for almost six hours. Those who resisted were abused and badly beaten.
Jahanpanah forest separates two socially and economically contrasting colonies of South Delhi- Dakshinpuri and Greater Kailash Part II. The manual work force required for household chores of rich populace of Greater Kailash comes from Dakshinpuri - a resettlement colony that is thickly populated and could be termed as a concrete slum - in form of sweepers, maids, gardeners, drivers, errand boys, office and shop assistants, and so on. It is a kilometer’s length of forest that separates the two colonies. This working segment uses the shortcut through this forest that opens in the posh colony.
Both Amit aged 18 and Kulwant aged 19 work as assistants in a gift shop in the colony. They dress smart and look confident. They live in Dakshinpuri block no 1. On Saturday, February 15, at 10:30 as they entered the colony after passing through the Jahanpanah, they saw a police PCR parked near by.
The personnel beckoned them to come near. As they did they were asked to sit in the vehicle. ‘we are on our way to work, sir’, they said. ‘Pataa hai, vahi chhor deinge’, the police men replied.
They were taken to the Chitranjan Park police station. There they found four more boys who live in block no. 19 of the same colony. Two police men at the police station asked them to pick up broom, bucket, and cloth and clean the police station. 'Hotel kee tarah chamkaa do isko’, they were told.
Amit and Kulwant refused. They said they do not do cleaning even at home. Moreover, they were going to their work place where they cannot go with dirty clothes on. On this two police men separated them, took them to a room and began raining blows at them. They were abused and humiliated in the filthiest of language. Their protestation met with greater aggression and violence from the men in uniform. Rest of four started cleaning the place fearing the same violence against them. Amit and Kulwant were released at 3 in the afternoon when their employer went and pleaded and vouched for them.
When contacted, the additional SHO of Chitranjan Park confirmed that police generally rounds up boys. But he denied that there has been some forced cleaning and beating. He further said that that since it is the police week the police are being extra vigilant against possible acts of crime in the colony.
PUCL-Delhi Branch demands that such acts of needless violence against the young who are of impressionable age must stop. Strict instructions should be issued to the concerned staff to be within the framework of civility and rule of law. Needless to say that such act on part of the junior staff of the police force make the force a hate figure among public at large. ‘Police Week’ means being people friendly. As a citizen one demands that police force live up to its claim
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