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Maharashtra Human rights panel directs state to pay Rs 5 lakh to Latur doctor

Cop had pointed a gun at doctor, beaten her up with a belt

The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has pulled up the state government and directed the additional chief secretary to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to a Latur doctor who was abused, threatened and beaten up with a belt by a policeman. The commission has drawn up a list of recommendations for the Director General of Police that includes imparting training to police on effective public dealing, improvement in facilities provided to visitors in police stations and emphasis on police-public relationship, asking the latter to comply with the recommendations within six weeks.

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According to the MSHRC order, Latur-based Dr Shobha Benjarge had visited the Shirur Anantpal police station to file a complaint in 2012 when the then police inspector, B L Deshmukh, had abused, later pointed a revolver at her and beaten her up with a belt. The analyser report later showed presence of 0.94 per cent alcohol in his blood.

According to Benjarge, only a non-cognizable report was registered against Deshmukh, which later led to a departmental inquiry. “It was not easy to register a complaint against him as police were not willing to file a case against a senior officer. After a lot of pressure, an NC report was filed,” Benjarge said, adding that she had visited the police station to file a complaint on behalf of a social activist when the incident took place.

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Deshmukh was subsequently transferred and his increment for two years was stopped. The commission noted that “the law-enforcement agency decided to impose such a lighter punishment on him despite a serious offence”. Deshmukh was also found under the influence of alcohol on duty.

“It is important to send certain recommendations regarding this to police,” observed Justice M A Sayeed, who directed the Home department to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Benjarge within six weeks for “humiliating and abusing her, physically dragging her out, and showing disregard to position held by the police officer”.

The commission drew up a list of at least 15 recommendations for the state police force. The DGP has now been directed to ask all commissionerate divisions to take initiatives for gaining public confidence, help complainants in distress, change style of police stations and its furnishings, and impart training on how to deal with public effectively.

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According to MSHRC Chairperson S Bannurbath, most of the cases filed with the human rights commission are registered against police atrocity.

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 03:04:32 am
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