Police, not judges, award ‘punishment’

Moving the barricades in the sun is their punishment, say police

May 10, 2020 12:21 am | Updated 12:22 am IST

Pawan (name changed), skinny and in his early 20s, had already moved the metal barricade some 200 times till 12.45 p.m. that day.

He and his four friends were told to reach the Andhra Pradesh-Telangana border at Vadapalli by 8 a.m., only to follow the order – “move the barricades” for the next 12 hours.

Each time a vehicle approached the check post, they walked up to the passengers to find the whereabouts, occasionally carried documents to and fro to the tent and moved the barricades left and right.

The sun was directly overhead, thanks to the limestone-rich geography, the asphalt road and cement factories around, and the mercury level was well over 40 degrees Celsius, they said.

Neither Pawan nor his four friends are home guards or constables of the Nalgonda police, but, reportedly, accused under Section 319 in the Miryalaguda rural police limits for their alleged involvement in an altercation that led to simple injuries to another party.

On May 5, when this correspondent was at Vadapalli to interact with check post officials, sub-inspector B. Sudheer Kumar said the men were involved in a case and did not belong to the department.

Sitting next to Inspector A. Ramesh Babu in the khaki tent, another official, who checked documents and recorded entries, explained further.

“Every day five petty case accused are brought from various stations under the rural police limits. It is the fourth day. These men are involved in simple hurt case. Moving the barricades in the sun is their punishment, they should not rest when the police are working hard. Even the SP and DSP appreciated the inspector’s initiative,” he said, as the other two officers nodded with a smile. Miyalaguda DSP Venkateswara Rao, when contacted, said, “The men were voluntarily helping. Like many who are giving food and masks, can’t they move the barricades? It’s the same. Anyone can help the police.”

Local sources confirmed that the five accused men left Vadapalli on their two motorcycles around 7 p.m.

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