NEW DELHI – The lawyer, who took on two police personnel in the court for bashing him up mistaking him for a Muslim by their own admission, was booked by the Madhya Pradesh Police.
Deepak Bundele was beaten up by two police officials in March this year for allegedly violating lockdown. Later, when in a bid to pacify him, they confessed that they targeted him as they took him for a Muslim because of his beard he recorded their statement on his mobile phone.
The vindictive police now booked Bundele under section 188, 294, 353 of India Penal Code (IPC). Interestingly the eyewitnesses the police cited in the case against him belong to Hindu Sena, a rightwing outfit.
Bundele, who is diabetic, was heading to the district hospital in Betul on March 23 for treatment when prohibitory orders in force ahead of the lockdown. On his way to the hospital, he bumped into some policemen who were blocking his way. An altercation ensued between him and the cops which culminated into his thrashing at the hands of the cops.
Later on May 17, the two policemen, who are now suspended, visited him to record his statement. During the course of interaction with the lawyer, they had said, “Police, whenever there are Hindu-Muslim riots, always sides with the Hindus, even Muslims know it. But this happened, it was a mistake,” one of the policemen is heard in an audio clip Bundele recorded.
“So, you are saying they thrashed me thinking I am a Muslim,” he asked them, to which one of them replied, “Yes, that is the case, your beard is long too.”
As the audio tape went viral, the Madhya Pradesh Police had no option but to suspend the sub-inspector for his utterance was not only an admission of the guilt but also a justification for their wayward ways.
Three months after the incident, the police have now booked the lawyer under different sections of IPC for violating lockdown rules along with other charges. According to the court documents, the three eyewitnesses in the case belong to Hindu Sena.
Following the incident, Bundele wrote letters to state chief minister, human rights commission, Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court and top government officials. Bundele also said he filed an RTI application for the CCTV footage of the March 23 incident, but was denied the information.