The Uttar Pradesh Police apologised on Thursday after three of its personnel escorted a mob that dragged an alleged lynching victim on the streets of Hapur district. The apology came after a photograph of the incident went viral on social media.
“We apologise for the incident,” the police said in a tweet. “All the three policemen have been transferred to Police Lines and an enquiry has been ordered.” The policemen were identified as Station House Officer Ashwini Kumar and constables Kanhaiya Lal and Ashok Kumar, according to The Indian Express.
The victim, identified as Qasim, was allegedly lynched by nearly two dozen people on Monday on suspicion of smuggling cows.
On Monday evening, the police filed a case against nearly two dozen people for allegedly murdering Qasim and injuring another. Residents said the lynching followed rumours of cow slaughter, but the police dismissed the claim.
The police said on Thursday that it appears that a gravely injured Qasim may have been dragged in the urgency to get him medical attention because there was no ambulance immediately available. “Admittedly, the policemen should have been more sensitive in their conduct,” the tweet said. “Humane concerns were ignored in the urgency of saving a life and maintaining law and order.”