23-year-old thrashed by five cops for playing cricket

May 29, 2014, 00:54 IST | Swapnal Tilekar

Youth alleges cops asked him to stop playing on the street at night. When he told them he was from the area, he was beaten black and blue

Police officials are meant to enforce the law by safeguarding citizen’s rights, but the brutality with they went about implementing it has left a family in Hadapasar traumatised after cops allegedly thrashed their 23-year-old son for playing cricket late at night.

Aarav Varma
Traumatised: Aarav Varma sustained hand and neck injuries after cops brutally thrashed him in the wee hours of Tuesday

Following the incident, the family has approached the commissioner’s office and lodged a complaint, demanding stringent action against the cops.

The incident took place at Hadapsar Gaon when policemen in a patrolling van saw a group of youngsters playing cricket in a lane at Gandhi Chowk at 1.30 am on Tuesday.

copy of the complaint
Copy of the complaint lodged at the commissioner’s office. Pic/Mohan Patilay.

According to the victim, Aarav (Ashish) Ramvilas Varma, five cops — 4 constables and 1 police sub-inspector — approached them and asked them why they were out so late.

Not new
“Kids and youths from our area play cricket at Gandhi Chowk till late every night. Even the elders from the nearby building societies are out chatting late into the night.

On that night, there were about fifteen of us playing cricket. Just as we were wrapping up our game, a police patrolling van happened to pass by. I was picking up my bat and stumps when five cops came to me and asked me what I was doing out so late. I told them I was just playing. But they held my collar and asked me for my identity card.

I showed it to them. PSI Madhusudan Madne, however, started slapping me. When I resisted he banged my head to their jeep. I started feeling dizzy and could not even stand,” said Aarav.

‘Verify my address’
Aarav then requested the cops to accompany him to his house, which is in the vicinity, so that they could verify he is a resident of the area. “I took them to my house so that they could talk to my father, who is a respected figure in our area. But after reaching there, the inspector started beating, kicking and slapping me continuously. The policemen also threatened to put me behind the bars and charge me with crimes like robbery and chain snatching, which I never committed,” he said.

My father got worried and could not bear to see me getting beaten up. So, he intervened and requested the cops to stop. I was brought to my house by these cops at 2 am and this humiliation continued till 4 am. I was beaten up continuously for about 20 minutes and my family members were also abused and threatened. It was very humiliating as my entire family, including my 5-year-old nephew, watched me getting beaten up for no fault of mine,” he said.

Aarav said his father owns Nandlal Jewelers, Shimpi Aali in Hadapsar and is a member of Pune Jewellers Association.
Aarav’s brother Digen said, “Our family is embarrassed and annoyed due to this incident. We cannot believe that cops can use their power to threaten, rather than protect, citizens. Just because my brother spoke out against them holding his collar; they cannot put him in the hospital. It was horrid to see the cops, two of whom were drunk, beating and abusing my brother.”

Setting an example
“Citizens undergo similar trauma on several occasions, but fear taking action against police officials. But we need this to change. Hence, we got my brother treated at the government-run Sassoon Hospital, as we require the medical papers from there to lodge a complaint. After filing a complaint yesterday at the police commissioner’s office, we are hoping for positive action. We want the cop to be reprimanded for his high-handedness, so that other police officers think twice before indulging in something like this,” added Digen.

Other side

PSI Madhusudan Madane from Hadapsar police station said, “I am a responsible officer. That night, when I saw about 15 to 20 kids and youths playing at 1.30 am, we approached them. Most of them rand away. But two to three people, including this particular youth, stayed behind. When I asked them to leave, he started abusing and threatening me saying I don’t know who he is and how his father is a famous jeweller there. Hence I took him to his house and on his father’s request let him go. If a police official doesn’t even have this much authority, how can we effectively protect the citizens?”

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