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Indian police, mob caught on video beating alleged thief

Indian police, mob caught on video beating alleged thief

Indian police and a mob of civilians punched and kicked a man accused of stealing a gold chain, then tied him to a motorcycle and dragged him down a street in an incident caught on video and broadcast Tuesday.
The beating spotlighted the widespread problem of police brutality in India, where officials often tout the country's democratic credentials and respect for the rule of law.
In the video, the rail-thin suspect _ wearing only tattered trousers, his hands bound behind his back _ is repeatedly punched in the face and kicked in the stomach, chest and back by a mob on Monday in the eastern city of Bhagalpur.
One man can even be seen whipping the suspect, identified only as Salim, with a belt.
At one point, Salim was tied to the back of what appeared to be a police motorcycle and dragged down the street. At least two policeman could be seen in the video.
The CNN-IBN television news channel, which was among the stations that broadcast the footage, reported that Salim survived the beating but had been seriously injured and was being treated at a clinic in the city.
A woman was shown in the video holding the gold chain Salim allegedly stole, but there was no word on whether he had been charged with any crime.
A police spokesman in Bihar, the state where the incident occurred, condemned the beating. "The policemen, they have gone beyond the call of duty and they have not acted in a legal manner," said spokesman Anil Sinha.
He did not elaborate or provide any further details, but police said at least two officers who took part in the beating had been suspended.
Indian police are routinely accused of beating suspects, especially poor ones, and tens of thousands of incidents of police brutality have been documented over the years in India.
In many cases, the victims are from the lower reaches of India's complex and rigid social hierarchy. Better-off Indians often cheer on the police.
Police in Bhagalpur, the site of the beating broadcast Tuesday, blinded 31 alleged criminals in the early 1979 by pouring acid into their eyes. The officers said they were trying to control crime, and won plaudits from many residents tired of the city's perceived lawlessness.
Bihar is considered a particularly lawless Indian state, with corrupt politicians, murderous police officers, underworld bosses and ordinary criminals making life miserable for residents.


Updated : 2021-07-30 16:59 GMT+08:00