Video clips of policemen dragging and assaulting a 15-year-old boy and his father, a tempo driver, in broad daylight in north-west Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar drew the ire of the Delhi High Court, which described them as evidence of “police brutality”.“Why was the boy dragged along the street in broad daylight,” asked a Bench of Justices Jayant Nath and Najmi Waziri after watching video footage of the Sunday incident, which has since snowballed into a political issue.“How can you [Delhi police counsel] standing for the State justify the action of the five police officers who ran after a 15-year-old boy who had been trying to take his father away,” the Bench asked.“If this is not evidence of police brutality then what more do you need? This is a case of extensive disquiet in society. How can any uniformed force do this? This would scare the citizens,” the Bench added. Independent report The court also called for an independent report on the incident from an officer of the rank of Joint Commissioner of Police within a week.The Delhi police’s counsel submitted that cross FIRs have been lodged on the complaints of the two sides and the case transferred to the Crime Branch for a detailed investigation. The counsel further said that three officers involved in the incident have been suspended. To this, the Bench said, “There are eight to nine police personnel who can be clearly seen [in the videos]… Identify the five officers who dragged the boy along the street, all the while pelting him with sticks, and those who assaulted the father.”The High Court also issued notices to the police, the Centre and the city government on a petition filed in public interest seeking a CBI probe into the incident. It posted the matter for further hearing on July 2.One of the petitioners, advocate Seema Singhal, has sought framing of appropriate guidelines for police reforms to prevent such “violent acts of police brutality and excessive force”.“A service gun was pointed towards the minor boy by these policemen threatening him with dire consequences,” her petition stated, adding that “the atrocities committed by the police amount to violation of Section 4 of the Model Code of Conduct for the police”.
Thursday was observed as a day of mourning at Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium to pay tribute to the man who brought the sport of wrestling to the centrestage.A father-figure to wrestlers, Singh regularly visited dangals and was an inspiration for the youngsters.”I can vividly recall my first meeting with him right after the 1972 Olympics. I was so impressed. The way he had maintained his body was inspiring for youngsters like us,” Satpal Singh, who won the gold medal at the 1982 Asian Games, reminisced.Dara Singh was ecstatic when Sushil Kumar won bronze at the Beijing Olympics and gold at the World Championship. “He told Sushil that he should perform the same way in London and return with a medal,” Satpal said.Dara learnt the sport in the mud dangals of his village. He then turned to professional wrestling, emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the 50s and 60s.The legend of Singh grew as he fought over 500 professional bouts, all undefeated, and competed against established international wrestlers such as King Kong (Australia) and John Desilva (New Zealand). In 1954, he won the title of Rustam-E-Hind.Mumbai-based wrestling coach Jagmal Singh, remembers how Dara always made time for bouts. “Whether it was Maharashtra Kesri or other important bouts, he would readily agree to be the chief guest.”He even agreed to be the referee in the Bharat Kesri championship when Changdi Ram won the title in 1968 and later when Satpal took home the crown in 1976. “We hope the boys return with a medal from the Olympics. It will be a fitting tribute to him,” Satpal said.advertisement