Probe ordered into stripping of detainees at MP police station

Bhopal: A day after photographs of a group of semi-naked men including a YouTube journalist at a police station in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi sparked controversy and raised questions about the police action, Director General of Police (DGP) Sudhir Saxena on Friday ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Saxena has appointed senior IPS officer Amit Singh, who is posted in Bhopal, to supervise the investigation, a police spokesperson told IANS.

The incident was reported from Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district where a journalist along with others was protesting against the arrest of a theatre artiste identified as Neeraj Kunder, accused of using objectionable language against a BJP MLA and his family, and spreading fake news about the legislator.

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YouTube journalist Kanishk Tiwari who was among the men detained and stripped at the police station, told IANS that he and others were put in the lockup, abused, beaten up and forced to strip.

“I had filed a report that was deemed to be against (BJP MLA) Kedarnath Shukla and because of that news, I was targeted,” Tiwari said.

Meanwhile, a video that surfaced on social media suggests that Tiwari along with others was protesting outside the police station. In the video, sloganeering was heard against MLA Shukla and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The police personnel present at the site were seen taking them to the police station. The video also shows that the protesters were thrashed by the police.

After the photographs surfaced on social media, SHO Manoj Soni — who has been suspended now, said: “They were not completely naked. We kept them in their innerwear in the lockup for security reasons so that no person hangs himself using the clothes.”

However, taking cognizance of the matter, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed the police to investigate the matter and take strict action against the police personnel who had forced the detained individuals to take off their clothes.

Superintendent of Police, Sidhi, Mukesh Srivastava told the media that two SHOs- Manoj Soni and Abhishek Singh, have been suspended.

“I came to know that a high level enquiry has been ordered by the DGP and a senior officer Amit Singh will be investigating the entire incident,” Srivastava added.

Srivastava had on Thursday told IANS that an FIR was registered a few days ago against Kunder who had been allegedly abusing Shukla using a fake ID on the social media. Action was taken against him and he was sent to jail.

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