Mumbai: A video surfaced on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Wednesday where a police officer is seen getting into an altercation with a group of men. Soon after, the video went viral and netizens were seen tagging the incident as police brutality. However, the police say they just did their duty, and reacted to the situation.
In the said video, a couple of police officers are notably seen physically hitting a man when the latter kept on saying, "I am a student and you are beating me for no reason."
Shortly after, a whole scuffle is seen happening between a group of men, and the two police officers who were seen using abusing words towards the former, and also hitting them with their lathi (stick).
The group of men are also heard saying that they were there to buy paan for themselves, in their defence.
Sequence of events according to Sion Police
The Free Press Journal spoke to the Sion police on Wednesday, as we learnt that the two officers were placed there on duty. According to officials, the two officers were constables cum beat marshalls, who were assigned to night-duty of patrolling the area to maintain law and order situation in their jurisdiction. "It was around 1:30 am at the Indira Market Post Office area of Sion on October 10, when the incident took place. Our officers were on night patrolling duty when they found 5-6 men standing near a paan shop, smoking cigarettes. Our officers told them to disperse as it was late at night when they started giving back answers. Shortly after one among them started making gestures at them, and came into one of the officers to attack. In cases like these, anyone would retaliate, and they were police officers on duty! What the video shows, that went viral is shot from their side but we have CCTV footage that shows they are the one who disrupted the duty of the on-duty police officer," said a police official, adding that the footage they have will be presented in the court of trial during the hearing.
The police added that the group of men started abusing the officers and kept denying the order of dispuring from the area.
SP leader demands action against cops
However, the same video was shared by Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi on 'X' where he demanded immediate action from the Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Mumbai Police Commissioner. He urged them to investigate the incident and take appropriate action against the involved police officers.
Ayan Rizwan Khan, 20, ran away from the area, said the police and got himself admitted to Sion Hospital. Police managed to arrest two of them, as the remaining 2 were underage. Khan had also applied for pre-arrest or anticipatory bail, confirmed the police officials. However, the court had rejected it. The ones arrested have been charged under section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty), among others, of the Indian Penal Code.