The Madhya Pradesh Police have suspended B.S. Patel, a sub-inspector in Betul district, for letting out what they believed was a secret. Patel had told a lawyer that the police once beat up the latter as he was mistaken to be a Muslim. The suspension became effective from Wednesday.
The lawyer, Deepak Bundele, claimed that the police stopped him while he was going to the district hospital in Betul on March 23, shortly after movements were restricted to contain coronavirus. Bundele alleged that the police thrashed him mercilessly before he informed them about his visit to the hospital for treatment.
Bundele filed complaints with several authorities, seeking registration of an FIR against the policemen who attacked him.
He also filed an RTI application to retrieve the CCTV footage of the incident. However, two months later, he was neither given the CCTV footage, nor was an FIR filed.
Investigating officer B.S. Patel visited Bundele’s house on May 17 to record his statement. “The cops mistook you as a member of the minority community due to your beard,” Patel allegedly told Bundele.
Bundele then shared an audio clip of the conversation with the local media.
Superintendent of Police D.S. Bhadoriya suspended Patel after the clip was shared widely on social media.
“He allegedly made a comment which should not have been part of the police investigation,” Additional Superintendent of Police Shraddha Joshi said.
Muslims have been the target of hate crimes since a congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi in March. Many coronavirus cases around the country were attributed to the congregation. Some organisations even moved the human rights commission.