Three police personnel in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut were suspended on Tuesday after a video showed them harassing a woman for reportedly being in a relationship with a Muslim man, NDTV reported.
The 29-second video, which Scroll.in could not independently verify, was shot by policeman driving the car. “You prefer Muslims when there are so many Hindus around,” Salek Chand, one of the police personnel, is heard saying. Then a woman constable, Priyanka Singh, starts beating the woman and removes the scarf that she was using to cover her face.
Apart from Chand and Singh, constable Neetu Singh and a member of the home guard, Shahensar Pal, were also in the police vehicle. “The police had absolutely no business in doing what they did,” said Meerut Superintendent of Police Kumar Ranvijay Singh. “That is why we have suspended them. “We have initiated a probe and will take further action based on the findings of the report. We have written to the home guards about the fourth person who is part of their ranks.”
The incident reportedly took place on Sunday when the woman and her Muslim friend – both medical students in their twenties – were targeted by a group of men, allegedly from the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The nursing student was being escorted in a police vehicle after she had been “rescued”, reported The Print.
The VHP workers, led by their regional chief Manish Kumar, allegedly barged into the man’s home, roughed up the two and handed them over to the police, The Times of India reported. They also allegedly accused the two of “love jihad”, a term often used by Hindutva groups to accuse Muslim men of entrapping Hindu women on the pretext of love in order to eventually convert them to Islam.
The right-wing activists then reportedly asked the woman’s father to file a case against her Muslim friend. However, he refused to do so and said the whole incident had been a misunderstanding, India Today reported.