HC serious on police assault on tennis players

VARANASI/ALLAHABAD: Taking suo moto cognizance of the news item, “Police cane tennis players”, published in ‘The Times of India’ on Friday, the Allahabad High Court directed authorities concerned to be personally present in the court on May 12. It may be recalled that for a minor traffic rule violation on Thursday, state’s top tennis players and prodigious siblings Narendra Prasad Rai, Rajendra Prasad Rai and their sister Om Lata were brutally beaten up by cops in Sigra area. DGP Vikram Singh, who along with principal secretary (home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur was in Varanasi on Thursday to review law and order scene in the zone, had ordered an inquiry into the incident. Taking note of the report, a division bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising Justice Vinod Prasad and Justice Surendra Singh, on Friday directed IG, Varanasi zone, DIG,Varanasi range, SSP, Varanasi and SO and SHO of Sigra police station to be personally present in the court on May 12. The court directed the senior police officials to file counter-affidavit in respect of the above incident and bring their versions through government advocate or additional advocate general or some other counsel of their choice on record. The judges have also directed the in-charge of the Nagar Nigam outpost Shashi Mauli Pandey to be personally present before the court and also file a counter-affidavit regarding the incident on the fixed date of the case. The court will hear this case on May 12 immediately after lunch. Before passing this order, the additional advocate-general and additional government advocate were summoned by the court. “Today (Friday) morning we read the news in TOI and we found that the three siblings were taken to the police station, Sigra, Varanasi where they were illegally beaten and assaulted,” mentioned the order adding “We therefore demit appropriate for protection of the liberty of the citizens of the state to treat the same news item as a writ petition and direct registrar-general of this court to register it as a criminal miscellaneous writ petition and regular number to it.” Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also taken cognizance of the matter and sought report from the district administration. A lawyer, Shatrudra Prakash, brought the incident to the notice of NHRC requesting its attention for the violation of human rights of the three players and their wrongful confinement.
10 May 2008, 0426 hrs IST , TNNTHE TIMES OF INDIA

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