Investigation Begins: The Man Flogging The Anti Social Elements Was A Cop  

The men in civil clothes were seen holding at least four men against an electric pole and beating them. One of them has been identified as a police officer from the Local Crime Branch (LCB) unit of Gujarat’s Kheda district.

Police officials confirmed this by saying that the person seen in the video beating the men is Police Inspector A V Parmar. Sub Inspector D. B. Kumavat is the other person who was seen taking phones and wallets out of the pockets of the men who were being beaten up. Parmar and Kumavat, who are both in Kheda with the LCB unit, didn’t answer their phones or texts.

The police have not yet revealed the names of the people in the videos. Director General of Police (DGP) Ashish Bhatia said when he was contacted, “We have asked for an investigation into the policemen seen in the video. After the investigation, we will decide what to do.”

The investigation is being led by V N Solanki, who is the Deputy Superintendent of Police for the Kapadvanj taluka. “The probe was given to me today. “I haven’t looked into the video clips yet,” he said.

When a senior police officer was asked about Parmar and Kumavat, he said, “We can’t deny that these are our men. They shouldn’t have acted like they were above the law.”

Seven people from the LCB unit are being looked into, sources said. “Once the first investigation report is turned in, the officers will face the first punishment. “Their version will be asked for,” a police officer said.

The video clips, which became public on Tuesday, showed at least four men being held against an electricity pole at a chowk, one after the other, by a group of men in plain clothes and being beaten with a lathi by a man with a gun in his belt holster. The people who have been flogged are then shown folding their hands in front of a cheering crowd. The men in plain clothes then tell them to get into a nearby police van.

The event happened in Gujarat’s Kheda district, in the village of Undhela, Matar taluka, allegedly after people threw stones at a Garba event on Monday night. Even though the men who were flogged and arrested for allegedly disrupting the Garba event were not named, the police confirmed that they were all from the Muslim community.

The Garba was set up by the village sarpanch, Indravadan Patel, in front of a temple that faces a mosque and shares a wall with a madrasa.

About the same number of people from each group live in the village, which has a population of about 6,000. Both groups live in separate areas. When The Indian Express went to the village on Thursday, most of the homes in the area for minorities were locked. A few people from the neighbourhood, mostly women or older people, were seen, but most of them didn’t want to talk about what happened.

“Go talk to the sarpanch about what happened that night. They have taken men from our community away on different charges and left us alone in such a weak position… Who is in charge of keeping us safe when the police beat up our men without doing a proper investigation?” asked one of the women.

Ravindra Patel, a local, said, “When the people of the village heard that the men who had stopped the Garba had been caught, they all gathered at the chowk. We asked the police officers to show them what not to do. About eight men are always starting fights and threatening us. When the police beat them with their lathis, everyone cheered because it made us feel better after everything we had been through. This is the first time we’ve gotten justice after being scared for so long.”

“We are putting together a request for a police station in the village. Even before the Garba, we asked the police to protect us because our community has been attacked every time a holiday is celebrated in the chowk for decades. Shailesh Solanki, a BJP member of the Matar taluka panchayat, said, “This time, the accused didn’t even spare the policemen.”

Nine people, including some police officers, were hurt in the fight that followed the alleged throwing of stones. So far, 13 of the 43 people named in the FIR have been arrested on charges like rioting and trying to kill someone.

“At the village chowk, we’ve never been able to have a peaceful event… When they (the Muslim community) recently had a party in the same place, our elders told us not to get in the way… Akash Sisodia, a villager who was hurt, asked why they couldn’t have a Garba night there.

Kheda’s Special Operations Group (SOG) is looking into the FIR that was filed about the alleged throwing of stones. “We are looking at the proof. Teams are looking for the other people who are accused. V R Bajpayee, the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Nadiad, said, “If we think the event was planned, we will act accordingly.”

On Wednesday, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi said that “some anti-social gang from the village” and “not any community” tried to make trouble in the village.