Delhi Police on Monday drew flak after a video emerged in which male police constables can be seen purportedly assaulting protesters, including women, demonstrating over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula near the RSS head office in the national capital.
The video went viral on social media, triggering sharp reactions. Two journalists, who have alleged that they were beaten up while covering the protest on January 30, claimed that the police action was "unprovoked".
Image source: Rahul/Facebook
Asked about the matter, a senior police official said that the video was being "examined". "Top-level officers are checking that video as well as the one shot by police officers present there," he said.
In the clip, apart from police, some men who are not in uniform can also be seen beating up a youth. A constable is seen dragging a female protester by her hair and pushing her down.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at the state police alleging that it was being used as RSS and BJP's "private army" under a political dispensation that is at "war" with students across the country.
Del pol being used by BJP/RSS as their pvt army to terrorize n teach lesson to anyone opposing BJP/RSS. I strongly condemn attck on studentsâ€” Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 1, 2016
FTII, Rohith case, Hyd Univ, IITs and now brutal attack on Del students. Modi govt seems to be at war with students all acrossâ€” Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 1, 2016
Lashing out over the video, AAP Delhi convener Dilip Pandey tweeted,
Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal said the incident was "unacceptable" and questioned the absence of women constables to control the demonstration that was organised by the Joint Action Committee For Social Justice.
Meanwhile, one of the journalists who was allegedly beaten up, said, "I had gone to cover the protest and found myself being assaulted by members of Delhi Police who also shattered my camera. These policemen were aggressive, possibly because I was shooting pictures at the back of the rally."
"Male personnel manhandled the female students, dragging and pushing them, scenes that I was about to capture with my camera. This was when the police attacked me," he claimed on a news portal.
He and a photojournalist, who was also covering the protest, claimed that their cameras were snatched away and later smashed by police.