We thought you were Muslim, said MP police after beating lawyer

Bhopal: last month a lawyer was brutality beaten by police when he was on his way to the government hospital for treatment following which he filled a complaint.

Bundele said. “I was struck by the way the police officials apologised. Even if I was a Muslim, what gives the police the right to assault them without any cause,” he said. 

The incident took place in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul, now almost after a month the lawyer is been pressurized by the police to withdraw his complaint.

Police officials, in their defence, told Bundele that he was beaten up because they had wrongly identified him as a Muslim man.

Bundele reported that on March 23, between 5.30 and 6 pm, he was on his way to the hospital when he was stopped by the police.

Bundele, who sports a beard, said that he explained to police personnel that he had to get his medicines but one of them slapped him without trying to listen to what he was saying. 

Only after he said he was a lawyer and would take them to task did they stop beating him, he said.

On March 24, he filed a complaint with the district Superintendent of Police D.S. Bhadoria and the state Director General of Police Vivek Johri. 

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He wrote subsequent letters to the chief minister, state’s human rights commission, the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh high court and top government officials. Bundele also said he filed a RTI application for the CCTV footage of the March 23 incident, but was denied the information stating that the reasons are not clear.

Since then, he alleged, police have been trying really hard to get him to withdraw the complaint.

“First, some of the top officials told me that they could issue a statement condemning and apologising for the incident, if I withdraw my complaint. Then some told me that if my brother, who is also a lawyer, and I wanted to practice law peacefully, I should stop pursuing my complaint.” 

Later when he complaint to the SP he requested the district police to file an FIR against the incident a few police officials came to his house on May 17 to record his version. This is when the police told him that this was a case of mistaken identity, and that the police officials thought he was a Muslim.
He alleged that they tried their best to convince him to withdraw the complaint.

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When Bundele insisted that he had nothing personal against him or any police official and declined to withdraw his complaint, the police official said:“We do not have any enmity against you. Whenever there is a Hindu-Muslim riot, police always supports the Hindus; even Muslims know this,” he said. 

Bundele clarified that there was no Hindu-Muslim riot that day, and asked whether he was beaten for being wrongly identified as a Muslim. The police officials agreed, and said:

Bundele then goes on to say that he had been a professional journalist with leading dailies in Bhopal for 10 years, and came back to Betul only in 2017 to practice law while insisting that he won’t withdraw his complaint. He said that he has already requested top officials of the state and the country to take action in the case, and therefore, will pursue the complaint now. 
“An FIR has still not been registered, despite consteant approach,” said Bundele.

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