Police assault: Lt Guv asks police for prompt probe

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New Delhi, Feb 2: Amid outrage over police brutality against a group of students outside RSS headquarters, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today summoned top brass of Delhi Police and directed them to promptly probe the incident while the force's chief B S Bassi appeared to defend his team.

Delhi Police came under severe attack from various quarters after a video of some policemen thrashing a group of students, including women, during a protest on January 30 over Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide went viral yesterday.

Najeeb Jung

Jung today summoned Delhi Police joint commissioner S K Gautam and sought a report on the police action against the students outside RSS office in central Delhi's Jhandewalan area.

A number of other senior police officials also accompanied Gautam. The LG's move came as students from various universities across Delhi staged demonstration outside Delhi police headquarters, protesting the police action four days back.

The video of police thrashing a group of students with sticks and fists and dragging women by their hair during a protest over Dalit student Rohith Vemula's suicide has triggered widespread outrage with Congress and AAP seeking action against the erring cops.

Sources said Gautam, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police's central range, briefed Jung on the issue. Bassi had yesterday ordered a thorough probe into the incident and Gautam is heading the investigation.

A number of unidentified men in civilian clothes were also seen beating the students. The investigators said they are yet to ascertain the identities of these men.

The video of Saturday's incident went viral on social media yesterday, triggering sharp reactions, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging the police force was being used as RSS and BJP's "private army" under a political dispensation that is at "war" with students across the country.

Bassi today appeared to defend his force suggesting that the protesters may have provoked them. "Right to protest coexists with what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr said - The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins," the police commissioner posted on Twitter.

Although, Bassi attributed the quote to American Jurist Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, its origin is disputed as the adage is attributed to various legal luminaries.

The quote is also recorded in a 1919 Harvard Law Review essay by legal philosopher Zechariah Chafee which contained a version spoken by an anonymous judge.

PTI 

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