The guests allege that the policemen then took their photographs when they were attending an event.

UK tourists allege harassment by Guntur police in Andhra 3 cops suspended Image for representation: PTI
news Crime Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 08:16

A group of UK tourists have approached the Indian embassy in London and lodged a complaint claiming that the Guntur police in Andhra Pradesh harassed and extorted money from them.

The complaint was filed on January 13, but came to light after an internal inquiry by the state police.

According to reports, around 40 guests from England and Ireland had visited Guntur on their friend's invitation to attend a wedding, around a month ago.  

The foreign nationals claimed that they had followed all procedures required and were at the event on December 28, when three policemen arrived at the venue and allegedly asked them why so many foreigners were sitting in one location.

The guests allege that the policemen then took their photographs, and allegedly extorted money. 

After the complaint, Director-General of Police M Malakondaiah ordered an inquiry on January 24. 

While the Andhra police has denied the allegations of extortion, they have agreed to lapses on their part. 

"As per procedure, the tourists had visited the police station to submit the form C, and complete the verification process when they were in the city. They were supposed to submit a copy of the form C to the police, which they did not...Our officials tried to help them, and do a job which they were not supposed to." Guntur Urban SP, Ch Vijaya Rao told ToI.

Three constables, identified as  Pradeep, Srinivas and Raviteja, were later suspended. 

While this is the first time that the Guntur police is facing such allegations, the Hyderabad police in neighbouring Telangana drew flak last year, after it conducted searches at the residences of several foreigners in the city, many of them being Africans.

The searches took place in Banjara Hills, Jubliee Hills, Mehdipatnam, Asif Nagar, Toli Chowki, Bundlaguda, Alwal, LB Nagar, Neredmet and other areas.

They checked visas and other documents of the foreigners, including students, to verify if they were staying legally.