New Delhi: Delhi Police today drew flak as a video emerged in which male police constables can be seen purportedly assaulting protesters, including women, demonstrating over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula near the RSS head office here.
The video went viral on social media, triggering sharp reactions. Two journalists, who have alleged that they were beaten up while covering the protest on January 30, claimed that the police action was “unprovoked”.
Asked about the matter, a senior police official said that the video was being “examined”. “Top-level officers are checking that video as well as the one shot by police officers present there,” he said.
In the 30-second clip, apart from police, some men who are not in uniform can also be seen beating up a youth. A constable is seen dragging a female protester by her hair and pushing her down.
Lashing out over the video, AAP Delhi convener Dilip Pandey tweeted, “What a new low in Indian politics. Male cops beaten up female protesters, RSS workers too joined DP in this brutality (sic).”
Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal said the incident was “unacceptable” and questioned the absence of women constables to control the demonstration that was organised by the Joint Action Committee For Social Justice.
Meanwhile, one of the journalists who was allegedly beaten up, said, “I had gone to cover the protest and found myself being assaulted by members of Delhi Police who also shattered my camera. These policemen were aggressive, possibly because I was shooting pictures at the back of the rally.”
“Male personnel manhandled the female students, dragging and pushing them, scenes that I was about to capture with my camera. This was when the police attacked me,” he claimed on a news portal.
He and a photojournalist, who was also covering the protest, claimed that their cameras were snatched away and later smashed by police.