NEW DELHI: Taking strong exception to the recent incidents of police beating up protesting contractual teachers in Bihar and a woman in Tarn Taran in Punjab, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday sought explanation from the two states on the conduct of police personnel.
Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, a bench of justices GS Singhvi and Ranjana Prakash Desai directed the two state governments to respond on Monday on the allegations of police brutality.
The bench asked Attorney-General GE Vahanvati and senior advocate Harish Salve to assist the court in dealing with the issue.
It posted the matter for further hearing on March 11.
On March 4, a woman was thrashed by Punjab police constables when she had approached them along with her father for lodging a complaint against harassment by a truck driver and his accomplices in Tarn Taran district.
Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini on Monday suspended two policemen seen in the video.
He ordered an inquiry into the incident, to be conducted by a superintendent of police, and a report within a week.
The video showed the young woman being chased, slapped, abused and hit with a baton.
The policemen also beat up her aged father and pushed him to the ground. His turban was also thrown on the ground.
“The guilty policemen should be dismissed from service and a case be registered against them,” the father of the victim said.
In another incident, Bihar Police had on Tuesday resorted to a baton charge and fired tear gas shells during a protest by contractual teachers outside the assembly in Patna demanding regularisation of their jobs and pay parity with regular teachers.
The contractual teachers agitation and use of force by police on the protesters on Tuesday rocked the Bihar Legislature with the opposition forcing adjournment of both the Houses on Wednesday.
As the assembly sat for the day to take up the Question Hour, leader of opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui said he had given a notice for adjournment of the House on the incident of “police high-handedness” on agitating contractual teachers.
Speaker Udai Narayan Chaudhary said the notice was rejected as it was not in conformity with rules.
With the Chair rejecting the adjournment motion plea, the entire opposition, including RJD, Congress, LJP and CPI, trooped into well and started shouting slogans against the government.
Congress Legislature party leader Sadanand Singh said that since use of force on agitating teachers was a sensitive issue, the speaker should reconsider his decision and allow the notice of adjournment.
On this, minister in-charge for Home Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said the opposition should follow the rule of business, which says that once a notice has been rejected by the Chair, it cannot be discussed in the House.
In between the pandemonium, the opposition and treasury indulged in verbal duel.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not present in the House.
JD(U) leader Shrawan Kumar said that leader of opposition had misled the House on Tuesday by asserting that police had fired bullets on teachers.
Chaudhary also denied firing of bullets on protesters.
BJP leader Prem Ranjan Patel echoed similar views.
Minister Nand Kishore Yadav alleged that the opposition was trying to derive political mileage from the situation.
Many agitators as well some policemen were injured in the process.
According to police, more than 24 people were taken into custody.
Press Trust of India