In a rare defiance of legal norms, a few Gujarat police officials have justified the public flogging of Muslim men in order to ‘maintain peace & harmony’.
An affidavit submitted in the high court on the flogging of Muslims during Navratri last year, Kheda district police officials have said that the public flogging of the detained Muslims was carried out to maintain peace and harmony in the area.
During Navratri at Undhela village of the Kheda district on 3 October last year, a few Muslim men were detained for attacking a Garba dance site near a mosque. They were dragged out, tied to a pole and publicly beaten up with sticks by the police as the crowd assembled for Navratri cheered the cops.
The affidavit was filed in the Gujarat High Court in response to a contempt of court petition filed by the accused who stated that the public flogging was in contravention of earlier apex court rulings on the subject.
The petitioners demanded action against 15 police personnel who had tied them to poles and flogged them in public.
In a separate affidavit, another policeman claimed that their action was “in discharge of their duties”.