Sikh student alleges assault, communal slur by IPS officer
He says the ASP has apologised to him and he has accepted it
A Sikh student has alleged that an IPS officer assaulted him and hurt his religious sentiments by pulling his hair, the symbol of his faith, in Agra on Saturday.
Gursimar Setia, who identified himself as a law student of The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, shared his ordeal on Twitter.
He said that around 7.40 p.m., he was stopped by police officers at Sanjay Place, where he had gone with a friend in a car to withdraw money. Mr. Setia said an officer, who could be identified from his badge as Additional Superintendent of Police Saurabh Dixit, started abusing him, noticing that he had tied his long hair in a bun.
Mr. Setia said the officer asked him for his identity card and upon discovering that he was a Sikh, he used communal slur and “proceeded to physically assault me and pulled my hair”.
‘Friend also assaulted’
His friend, who rushed out of the car to help him, was also beaten up, alleged Mr. Setia, who shared photos of his head and some strands of his hair allegedly pulled out by the officer.
After screenshots of Mr. Setia’s Twitter post were widely circulated on social media, the Agra police said a senior police officer was inquiring into the alleged incident. “Will act accordingly,” the police said.
While a formal statement from the police is still awaited, Mr. Setia said on Sunday that he received an apology from the officer and he has accepted it. “I accepted his apology because he was willing to introspect, never to repeat such an instance of unprovoked police brutality again,” he said in a statement. “...I believe that he will genuinely learn from his mistake.”
He said that when the incident happened, he was angry and had made up his mind to hold the officer accountable. “Today it was me, but most often this happens to people who have no voice in society,” he said.
He would not pursue the matter further, but he would not delete the tweets either, Mr. Setia said. “I genuinely hope that the public will respect my family’s privacy.”