Bengaluru: Overzealousness of local police in implementing lockdown is well known, but things went a bit far when a CRPF commando was allegedly beaten up by cops in Karnataka after he was caught without a mask in violation of coronavirus precautions.
The commando was in civilian clothes and on leave at his hometown Belagavi. He has alleged he was beaten up, handcuffed and made to sit on the floor.
His picture showing him chained went viral on social media. Sachin Savant, the commando who was beaten up, belonged to the CoBRA or Commando Battalion for Resolute Action unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). CoBRA is skilled in guerilla warfare and is usually involved in anti-Maoist operations.
A livid CRPF has written to the Karnataka Police chief, Praveen Sood, stating the “unpleasant situation could have been avoided had the state police taken the CRPF hierarchy into confidence” before arresting commando Savant on April 23. According to a senior officer quoted by PTI, the CRPF is considering “a counter FIR against the atrocious action of the police”.
The CRPF, in a strongly worded letter, said the commando was “manhandled, ill-treated, paraded to the police station barefooted, kept in chains and handcuffs” by policemen enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown. Police had a different version. When two constables found him without a mask, they asked him to wear one.
“Suddenly Sachin argued with beat constables in filthy language and said, I am also a policeman of the CRPF. You don’t ask me I will never follow your rules,” police said. The letter claimed the constables had “requested” the commando to wear a mask, but instead of obeying, he assaulted them.
He was arrested and has been in custody. “We have taken up the case with state police chief of Karnataka. His (Savant) bail plea will come before the court on Tuesday and CRPF too shall be in court through local officers. A probe shall begin to take it to logical conclusion,” CRPF spokesperson Moses Dhinakaran told PTI.
The CRPF pointed out to the Karnataka police in the video where Savant is being beaten up, “it is apparent the conduct of police personnel was not citizen centric.” Meanwhile, Karnataka reported one more Covid death in Belagavi taking the total to 20. On Monday, the state recorded 9 positive cases, a major dip considering the figures a couple of days ago.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)