Hyderabad: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Telangana High Court seeking action against the police officials who had used force against the people for violating the lockdown.

Referring to Wanaparthy incident where police constables had beaten up a biker in front of his child, petitioner Advocate Umesh Chandra PVG appealed the court to register a criminal case against cops involved in the episode.

He also appealed to the court to constitute a judicial committee to inquire into all incidents of police violence and the use of force against the citizens in the state during the lockdown period. The petition was admitted by the High Court and has been listed for hearing on Wednesday.

Chandra informed the Court that the government after declaring lockdown in the state had released GOs 45 and 27, detailing the measures to be taken and authorizing departments to implement the order strictly. The state also invoked The Epidemics Act and The Disaster Management Act.

Further, the local police imposed restrictions on the movement of people within their jurisdiction.

 But they started abusing the commuters who came out to either purchase ration or medicine or for those needs which have been exempted by the government. Initially, a reasonable force was welcomed to instill fear in the minds of negligent and law-breaking commuters.

“However, lately, the local police started using excessive force to curtail commuters from moving even for purchasing essential goods exempted under the government order,” the PIL said.

One such manifestly glaring abuse of authority by local police have been at full display in Wanaparthy on April 2, 2020, when a biker who went out to get milk and other groceries to his parents was assaulted by a policeman who was not in uniform.

“Regrettably, the other policemen stood like mute spectators and the victim was beaten up mercilessly in front of his son. In the video circulated on social media, it is as clear as daylight that the son pleaded with the policemen not to beat his father. However, none of the policemen lent their ear for the child’s constant persuasions and hence didn’t relent. Moreover, the policemen pulled the victim and his son into the police vehicle and were later allegedly moved to the jurisdictional police station.” the PIL stated.

Further, it was reported in the media that the biker was thrashed badly by six policemen in the police lock-up before being released. This incident unambiguously falls within the realm of excessive use of force and a gross violation of human and civil rights of the victim.

The advocate said suspending one policeman when multiple cops were involved, is done to cool down the tempers. It is a mere eyewash and nothing less than a symbolic gesture and therefore doesn’t act as an able deterrent against recurrence of such incidents in the future.

Further, he stated that such incidents are happening in the state and only a few such unfortunate incidents are gathering required attention.

He also appealed the court to direct Director-General of Police, and Superintendent of Police, Wanaparthy to lodge a First Information Report against the alleged perpetrators by invoking relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

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