The Haryana Police have suspended two head constables and sacked three special police officers after a video that went viral purportedly showed them beating a woman with a belt in a park in the city of Faridabad, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
A case has been filed against the five personnel, who were identified as head constables Baldev and Rohit, and special police officers Krishna, Harpal and Dinesh. The last two have been arrested, and the police are looking for the others.
The incident took place in October, when the police officials went to a park after they were told that a man and a woman were “doing something wrong” there, Faridabad Police spokesperson Sube Singh told the newspaper. The man fled when police reached, after which the officials “behaved indecently with the woman and hit her while questioning her”, he added.
The woman, however, did not report the alleged incident. A video clip of the alleged assault, more than four minutes long, went viral on social media on Monday. It shows three men confronting the woman. An officer in uniform is seen asking her for a contact number while another, in plainclothes, walks towards her with a belt in hand.
The person in the uniform was Baldev and the one with a belt was Rohit, while the third was Harpal, the police said. The other two accused could reportedly be heard in the video but were not seen in the clip.
In the video, the person suspected to be Baldev stops Rohit and takes down the woman’s contact number even as Rohit keeps hitting her and asks her to give them the correct number. Rohit and Harpal are then seen walking around her in circles, demanding her phone number. The men then ask the woman what she was doing at the park, and hit her with the belt again. She asks the officers to listen to her. Rohit then responds, “We are listening, you keep talking.” The suspected officers also tell the woman that she has “five minutes” to “tell the truth”.
The police said they were trying to trace the woman and record her statement.
The suspensions and dismissals were ordered by Faridabad Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar. The case was filed under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Virk tweeted that police had taken a strong view of the incident. The police “is committed to respect and safety of women, and would not hesitate to take strictest possible action even against its own personnel if they act in an unlawful manner”, he tweeted.