Indian Police Use Hookah Ban as Pretense to Beat Restaurant Owner

Since last week, when Nagpur Today broke the news of illegal Hookah activities taking place near Futala Lake area, Nagpur Police swung into action and has become more alert and is issuing Challans* to seize all the illegal hookah parlours in the city, which is praise worthy.

(*TruthVoice Editor’s Note: Challans are similar to US criminal citations, typically with an invoice requesting payment)

However, an incident of police brutality came to fore. The police brutality which was caught in CCTV displayed nothing but sheer misuse of the uniform and authority. All that the police inspector had was the right to issue chalan for illegally running Hookah parlour.

Surveillence video of the incident is available below:

On June 14, 2015 at around 11:40 am, Second Police Inspector of Sonegaon Police Station, PI Patil had barged into Restaurant and Lounge ’Papa Pencho Oye’ situated on Wardha Road. The footage showed how the cop just barged into the restaurant, seized a hookah from a table, handed the hookah into the hands of the owner of Papa Pencho Oye, Ankit Singh. The Second PI Patil then went on to slap him continuously without being provoked or resisting police action. The Police Inspector went on hitting him, kicking him and then was taken to the police vehicle. The action did not stop there. The footage showed Police Inspector Patil practically dragging the owner Ankit Singh down and dropping him on the road (highway) and stamping him on his chest 3-4 times. No one knows what provoked him to bash up the victim with such brutality.

Ankit Singh Version on brutality at Papa Pencho Oye Restaurant and Lounge in Nagpur

While speaking to Nagpur Today, Owner of Restaurant and Lounge Papa Pencho Ankit Singh aged 27 years who is the son of Colonel Satish Kumar Singh claimed that there were only two tables where customers were eating their food while the rest of the eatery was closed for the day. Even the lights, name-board and the gate were closed (indicating the hotel was closed). There is a lounge which is designated as the smoking zone. This is the spot where some youngsters were smoking hookah.

While speaking to Nagpur Today, the owner claimed that the offences under section 68 of IPC (illegal selling of liquor) slapped on them is based on a false claim. The owners claim that they never ever have served liquor. To add to that no bottle of liquor was seized from the premises.

In order to get the version of Commissioner of Police S P Yadav, Nagpur Today called him many times, but he did not pick the call probably because he was busy in some meeting.

While speaking to Nagpur Today, Deputy Commissioner of Police Nirmala Devi said that she was informed about this incident on June 14, 2015. She claimed that when she questioned Police Inspector Patil about the slapping, kicking and stamping allegations, he refused to have done any such thing. When Nagpur Today pointed out to her that the CCTV footage clearly shows the Police Inspector slapping, kicking and stamping the innocent owner/victim, she claimed that the Police Inspector does not have any right to hit anyone. She added that she did ask the cops to issue challan, not to take brutal action. DCP Nirmala Devi added that if Police brutality is seen in the CCTV footage, severe penal action will be taken against the cop. She assured Nagpur Today that police brutality of any kind will not be condoned in any way.

This article appeared originally on Nagpur Today