Other States

Meghalaya musician files FIR against traffic SP for abuse, attempted murder

A musician in Meghalaya has filed a first information report (FIR) against a senior police officer in capital Shillong for abuse of power, assault and attempted murder, besides illegal confinement.

Manavon Massar, a musician and son of a leader of the ruling National People’s Party, accused Traffic Superintendent of Police (SP) Bashan J. Laloo of racism and judging him because of “my dreadlocks and appearance”.

Mr. Massar’s FIR at the Laitumkhrah police station in Shillong on Thursday stated that he was driving an Assam-registered small car along with a friend from Mumbai on Wednesday and had overtaken a few vehicles when the SP stopped and pulled him out of the car.

Apart from threatening to shoot him, the SP allegedly kept speaking in Hindi and assaulting him, stopping “only after I spoke to him in Khasi”. The FIR said he was taken to the Civil Hospital for medical tests which said he had a broken index finger and bruised legs but no traces of alcohol or drugs, as “had been suspected”.

A copy of Mr. Massar’s FIR, filed along with members of a rights NGO, was submitted to the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission seeking protection of the people from “rogue and violent officers”.

Later, Mr. Massar took to social media admitting he was guilty of overtaking. After driving 18 hours from Dambuk in Arunachal Pradesh he was in a hurry to check the sound for a gig in Shillong. “Those who know me know how music is important in my life and I am so handicapped right now (because of the broken finger). I would have taken my punishment (for overtaking) but did I deserve this much?” he asked.

‘Trial by social media’

Mr. Laloo said an FIR was filed against Mr. Massar and his friend too for overtaking vehicles rashly and dangerously in foggy conditions putting the lives of others at risk. “The police were forced to subdue him after he challenged them following detention,” he said. The SP also said a complaint would be filed against Mr. Massar for the “mischievous trial by social media”.

“If you are violating the law, you are violating the law. How does it matter what hairstyle one sports or what language is spoken? They have tried to communalise things. That is very dangerous. One has to use social media responsibly,” Mr. Laloo told The Hindu on Friday.

“There was another vehicle detained that day for overtaking. Nothing happened in that case while this person was aggressive,” he added.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 5:09:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/meghalaya-musician-files-fir-against-traffic-sp-for-abuse-attempted-murder/article25802790.ece

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