Eight-year-old girl thrashed inside Uttar Pradesh police station (Lead)

February 3rd, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 3 (IANS) In a shocking display of brutality, police in an Uttar Pradesh village pulled an eight-year-old girl by her hair and repeatedly slapped her for allegedly stealing Rs.280 - deaf to both her cries for mercy and her pleas of innocence. Komal sobbed and pleaded that she was innocent as the brawny cops in Etawah district’s Kailokhar village, about 300 km from here, pulled her up by her hair, twisted her ears and rained blows inside the police station. Unfortunately for them, it was all caught on TV cameras.

As outraged TV viewers all over the country watched the thin Dalit child dressed in bedraggled clothes being beaten up, police was forced into quick action.

Etawah’s district police chief K.S. Singh told IANS: “We have already placed the Jaswantnagar SHO (station house officer) Chandrapal Singh under suspension. Another inspector involved in the incident has been dismissed.”

Komal’s mother blamed the police of wrongly detaining and beating her.

She said she had given Komal Rs.15 to go to the market. But Komal returned home only late Monday with injury marks on her face and arms.

“Her hair had been plucked out from a number of places on her head,” Raj Kali claimed.

Giving his version of the events, SHO Chandrapal Singh said: “We were sitting in the police station when a young girl, aged 17 to 18, entered the police station with Komal.”

The girl, Anju, alleged that Komal had slipped away with her purse that had been hanging on her cycle.

“Anju caught hold of her in front of our police station,” Chandrapal Singh said over the phone.

“We frisked both Komal and Anju but did not find the purse,” he clarified, adding that Anju said in her complaint that the purse had been handed over to a boy who had escaped.

With the incident creating ripples all over the country, there is likely to be more action against the police officials involved.

Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Brij Lal said: “Action will be taken against all the cops involved in the incident.”

A criminal case, including sections of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act, have been lodged against the two cops.

“Anju’s allegations will also be probed. If found guilty, she will also face legal action,” Brij Lal added.

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