Bharat Express

Delhi Police Says No Force Used Against Wrestlers, Claims 5 Personnel Injured; AAP Terms It Lie

Police said that no permission has been granted to the protesters to stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar. They also clarified that Jantar Mantar can not be made a permanent site for a protest which is why cots were not allowed there.

The Delhi Police on Thursday denied allegations that its personnel were drunk and used force against protesting wrestlers during a late-night ruckus between police and some grapplers at Jantar Mantar, but the Aam Aadmi Party accused them of spreading lies.

New Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Pranav Tayal said five police personnel were injured in the Wednesday night ruckus. The wrestlers, on the other hand, have alleged that they were beaten up by the police and a couple of protesters sustained head injuries.

“A sufficient number of women officers were on duty during the night. On the medical examination, no police personnel were found drunk. Five police personnel sustained injuries during the scuffle.”
“No force was used by police personnel against the protestors. Regarding injury to one protestor, he left the hospital against medical advice and has not given a statement to the police yet,” the DCP tweeted from his official handle.

Later in the day, explaining the sequence of events that unfolded at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday night, Tayal told reporters, “Wrestlers have been sitting at Jantar Mantar for the past few days. Yesterday (Wednesday) Somnath Bharti came to the Jantar Mantar barricade along with a vehicle full of folding cots without any permission. When our police team asked him not to bring any cots inside, some of the wrestlers and the supporters intervened.

“In the process, a scuffle broke out in which about five of our staffers were injured. Of those who sustained injuries, two were females. Allegations have been levelled by the protesters that one of our staff members was in a drunken condition. An MLC (medico-legal case) of the particular staff was conducted which revealed that alcohol was not present in his blood,” he added.

Police said that no permission has been granted to the protesters to stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar. They also clarified that Jantar Mantar can not be made a permanent site for a protest which is why cots were not allowed there.
Addressing a press conference later in the day, the AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the tweet by the New Delhi DCP has “three lies”.

Also read: ‘Fight’ Between Wrestlers Protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, Policemen

“Police have been accused of misbehaving with one of the women wrestlers. They are the accused and they are only probing the matter. The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) will probe the matter. DCW chief Swati Maliwal had reached the spot along with a counsellor last night after receiving the complaint. What did the police do? They threw her away. Police are not allowing an investigation. Please read law books and basic law,” he said.

It’s all a lie, says AAP

Bharadwaj also questioned the police’s claims that its personnel were not drunk. He claimed that the personnel who was allegedly drunk was made to throw up by the police so that alcohol could not be detected in a test.
“We saw that he was made to throw up. They all will come clear in the alcohol test. The police are trying to save their skin.”
Bharadwaj said the wrestlers could not sleep at the protest site because of heavy rains on Wednesday.
“The police should be ashamed. They did not allow cots. The special commissioner of police was at the spot. The DCP was there. Dushyant Phogat sustained head injuries yesterday. How did he sustain a head injury? All this drama is being done by them,” he alleged.

The AAP leader even claimed that the injuries suffered by the police personnel could be “self-inflicted”.
“There were so many cameramen there but no one captured the injured policemen. Even small-time criminals in Tihar know that they can inflict injuries by scratching themselves or hitting their heads against a wall. It is a cheap thing that they inflicted injuries on their own. They are only telling lies,” he said.
Bharadwaj also alleged that the Delhi Police officials were being directed by the Centre to do this. “This is not Delhi Police’s lie but the Centre’s lie. The Centre is being exposed.”

He also said the protest site was made out-of-bounds for people with the police barricading the area. “People were lathi-charged. Who issued orders for a lathi charge? What was happening? Police will have to answer. The Centre’s arrogance was shattered by farmers. Similarly, these women wrestlers will break their arrogance,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal said the protesters told her that police personnel were inebriated at the time of the incident.

Protestors’ perspective

According to protestors, two wrestlers — Rahul Yadav and Dushyant Phogat — were injured in the incident. Phogat, an award-winning wrestler, also received head injuries. Police said barricades have been put up at several locations across Delhi as precautionary measures to ensure no untoward incident takes place.

On Wednesday night, police detained Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda and DCW chairperson Maliwal, when they went to the spot to support the wrestlers. The wrestlers have levelled sexual harassment charges against Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Saran Singh and have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar since April 23 demanding his arrest as well as ouster from the WFI post. Various political parties, including the Congress and AAP, have lent their support to the wrestlers.