Madhya Pradesh: Protesters including journalist forced to strip down to undergarments inside lock-up, photos go viral
Kanishk Tiwari alleged that he was targeted by cops owing to his stories against the local BJP MLA and the local police.
BHOPAL: Group of youths, including theatre artists protesting the recent arrest of a theatre personality in a criminal case and a local journalist covering the protest, were not only taken into custody but also stripped inside a police station in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district.
The pictures of the 8-9 protestors and local journalist Kanishk Tiwari, including one in which they are seen standing against the wall with just undergarments went viral over social media on Thursday, compelling the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to order a probe into the matter.
The entire matter dated back to April 2, just after local theatre personality Neeraj Kunder was arrested by police for allegedly making abusive posts about local BJP MLA Kedarnath Shukla and son Gurudutt Shukla, through a fake ID of Anurag Mishra.
Neeraj was arrested in the case registered against him by the BJP MLA's son.
Coming to know about the arrest, a group of men, mostly comprising theatre artists associated with Indravati Natya Sansthan (run by Neeraj) protested outside the police station on April 2 evening.
According to the local scribe Kanishk Tiwari (who runs a youtube channel and also contributes news for a national news channel), the police first used force against the protestors and then took them and him in custody, even though he had gone there to cover the protest.
He alleged that he was beaten and forced to remove clothes by the cops, leaving him in his undergarment, just like the protestors inside the police station.
Tiwari further alleged that he was targeted by cops owing to his stories against the local BJP MLA and the local police.
The state police, however, claimed that the protestors and the YouTuber Kanishk Tiwari were taken into custody as they were breaching the peace outside the police station in the name of protests. They were booked u/s 152, 153, 186, 341, 504 and 34 IPC and arrested. Subsequently, they were kept in the police station's lock-up on April 2-3 night.
They were released on bail the next day.
A senior state police officer confirmed that the men arrested for breach of peace on April 2 evening were made to remove clothes and remain in undergarments, as part of normal practice, to prevent any possibility of detained men attempting suicide by using their clothes.
The Sidhi district police also claimed that Kanishk Tiwari wasn't a journalist, but just a YouTuber, who is already accused in a case registered against him under Sections 452, 323, 294, 506 and 34 IPC in 2021.
The viral pictures of the protestors and journalist in undergarments triggered a controversy, with opposition Congress leaders, including ex-minister Jaivardhan Singh and social activists, including Ajay Dube, demanding stern action against the responsible cops.
Earlier, in December 2017, protesting farmers too were beaten and stripped to wear just undergarments in police custody in MP's Tikamgarh district.