The assistant sub-inspector of police who was assaulted, forced to hold a saffron flag and paraded in a town in Maharashtra on Saturday, marking yet another case of violence unleashed by extreme right wing activists, said that he was let down by his own colleagues.
Shocking: Muslim policeman beaten up/paraded on street with saffron flag in Latur village for doing his duty/ shame pic.twitter.com/Db5lV2WZOy— imtiaz jaleel (@imtiaz_jaleel) February 20, 2016
Yunus Sheikh said calls to the control room requesting reinforcements did not yield any results.
The incident happened when he, along with K. Awaskar, a head constable, tried to prevent a mob from hoisting a saffron flag near Ambedkar Chowk, categorised as a sensitive area, to mark Shivaji Jayanti. Sheikh said that he was only doing his duty and had even assured that he would help them find a better place to hoist the flat.
latur (Maharahstra): In an apparent display of anarchy, a Muslim policeman is beaten up badly and paraded in the... https://t.co/O9PSQaAZOI— Sabrang (@sabrangindia) February 22, 2016
“I phoned the control room and appraised them about the situation. Using my mobile, I called the in-charge of the Renapur station on his cellphone. But still, they failed to send reinforcements in time. The policemen reached Pangaon by 10.10 am. By then, the mob had assaulted me brutally and humiliated me by parading me,” the 50-year old officer told The Indian Express.
Nationalist goons, yet again.— Rajesh Griglani (@griglani) February 21, 2016
" Policeman beaten up/paraded on street with saffron flag in Latur village... https://t.co/EbbvNtjoIX
The police on Sunday arrested 16 youths who belonged to a little-known organisation called Shivaji Jayanti Mandal.
Latur Superintendent of Police Dyaneshwar Chavan said reinforcements reached the spot by 9.50 am after two calls were received from Sheikh at 8.30 am and 8.45 am.
Maharashtra Director General of Police Pravin Dixit said the Aurangabad Inspector General has been asked to visit the spot and submit a report.
Shocking: Muslim policeman beaten up/paraded on street wd saffron flag in Latur village for doing his duty. pic.twitter.com/gQCzqdjbYn— Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizamii) February 21, 2016
“I begged them to let me go but I was mercilessly beaten until I collapsed. The mob took me to the same spot where I had stopped them from hoisting the flag. They made me hoist the same flag there and forced me to chant ‘Jai Bhawani, Jai Shivaji’,” said Sheikh.
Sheikh’s 28-year-old son Farooq Yunus Sheikh alleged that his father was ‘singled out’ by the mob.
“The other constable who had also restrained the crowd from hoisting the flag the previous night was not paraded or attacked the way my father was. They spared him but not my father. What are we to make out of this?” asked Farooq, who works for an IT firm in Pune.
“If reinforcements had be sent on time, my father would not have been attacked. In every case, a departmental enquiry is ordered, we hope that this case is no different,” he said.