In a shocking incident, a bearded Muslim police officer on Friday was beaten up, forced to carry a saffron flag and paraded on streets by a right-wing mob in Maharashtra’s Latur dstrict.
According to a report carried by twocircles.net, 56-year-old ASI Shaikh Yunus Pashamiya, was attacked by 200 men and beaten up by sticks after he was asked to hold saffron flag, parade and dance.
Friday was the birth anniversary of Maratha warrior, Shivaji, and the local residents in Latur were marking the occasion with fanfare.
However, Pashamiya, who was standing with his colleague ASI K Awaskar, cited orders from the seniors asking the crowd not to put up saffron flags in certain sensitive areas.
This enraged the crowd, who singled out Pashamiya, beat him up mercilessly before even allegedly attempting to shave off his beard. He was also forced to chant ‘Jai Bhawani, Jai Shivani.’
The officer is now recuperating in a local hospital in Latur.
His family has now demanded a departmental probe to find out into why reinforcements from Renapur police station failed to arrive in time to tackle the mob at Pangaon, around 15 km away.
Pashamiya told Indian Express, “I phoned the control room and appraised them about the situation. Using my mobile, I called the in-charge of the Renapur station on his cellphone. But still, they failed to send reinforcements in time. The policemen reached Pangaon by 10.10 am. By then, the mob had assaulted me brutally and humiliated me by parading me.”
Latur SP, Latur SP Dyaneshwar Chavan, however, said reinforcements had reached Pangaon within 9.50 am that day after two calls were received from Sheikh at 8.30 am and 8.45 am. Maharashtra DGP Pravin Dixit said the Aurangabad IG had been asked to “visit the spot and submit a report,” adds the paper.
Pashamiya said that he was only doing his job at the behest of his seniors.
He said, “I was just doing my duty. Ambedkar Chowk is marked as a communally sensitive area. We even assured the group the previous night that we would find a better place for them to hoist the flag.”
His son, Farooq Yunus Sheikh, said that another constable, a Hindu, had prevented the group from hoisting the saffron flag in the neighbourhood the previous night, but he was ‘not paraded or attacked the way my father was.’
“They spared him but not my father. What are we to make out of this?” asked Sheikh.
28-year-old Sheikh alleged that there was already an attempt to weaken the case as it’s not his father but another policeman, who had been made a complainant in the case.