A cop in Maharashtra’s Nanded was suspended after a video showing him brutally beating up many youths who were stopping cow smugglers went viral on social media. The cop was identified as Islapur Police’s API (Assistant Police Inspector) Raghunath Shewale.
LRO said Shewale thrashed the Gaurakshaks, who are Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal (BD) members as they had stopped two vehicles carrying smuggled cattle. They also pointed out that the cops allowed 8 cow smugglers to escape and instead arrested the youths.
The shocking video shows Shewale thrashing four half-naked youths with a belt. Details shared by Legal Rights Organization (LRO) states that the incident took place on February 2 but Nanded police issued a press statement only after outrage on social media. The indigenous legal rights NGO (Non-governmental organization) also indicated that top police officials including the SP (Superindent of Police) was aware of the incident but brushed the matter under the carpet as they receive kickbacks from the cow smuggling mafia.
The police press release dated February 11, states a video where Shewale is thrashing the youths has come to their (police) attention and an inquiry has been ordered into the matter. SP Srikrishna Kokate has ordered Police official Thorat Saheb to investigate the matter while assuring to take appropriate action if they find any wrongdoing by the cop.
Shewale, who was initially transferred to the Nanded Police Control Room, has since been suspended.
On February 2, Islapur BD Gaurakshaks informed Shewale and Islapur Senior SP about cattle being smuggled for slaughter in two vehicles. However, the Gaurakshaks had to stop the vehicles themselves as the cops failed to turn up in time. Shewale, who reached the spot later, was informed that a complaint has already been lodged. However, Shewale allowed the smugglers to go.
Following this, the Gaurakshaks complained to higher police authorities. The move angered Shewale who called the youths to Islapur Police Station on February 5 on accusations of being involved in a fight in Shivni village the previous day. On reaching the police station, the youths were made to remove their shirts and thrashed in front of onlookers, one of whom recorded the cop’s brutality.
As the video surfaced on social media, the cop found the youth who had recorded the video and made him delete it. The youth deleted the video and also fled from the town as he feared police action against him. However, many people had already downloaded the video and they began circulating the same. Despite this, the Nanded police looked the other way. Subsequently, VHP leader Kiran Bichewar wrote to the Home Minister, Superintendent of Police, and Director General of Police, demanding action against Islapur Assistant Police Inspector Raghunath Shewale.
LRO took up the matter after Shewale was merely transferred and alleged that the entire Nanded police has links with cow smugglers. Even public began raising doubts of a nexus between the police and smugglers.
“Raghunath Tulsidas Shewale is posted at Islapur, and two Mahindra pick-up vehicles were found on Shivni Road with two smuggled bulls in one vehicle and one bull in the other. However, he didn’t arrest the smugglers”, says the Nanded Police statement.
Shewale was suspended following a massive public outrage but PSI Bodhgire, who is equally guilty, has been let off highlighted LRO.
Shewale has been suspended for gross negligence in the discharge of duty as per the provisions of provisions of the Maharashtra Police (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1956. The suspension notice says that the cop has to report at the headquarters every morning and evening.
(Featured Image Source: OpIndia)