This article originally appeared on VICE IN.
For more than a week now, an incident in Minneapolis, USA, where a cop choked a Black man named George Floyd by kneeling on his neck, has caused worldwide protests and outrage. The Black Lives Matter movement eventually led Chauvin being charged with third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and unintentional second-degree murder.
But this incident adds to the long and painful history of police brutality across the world. In India, an incident reportedly involving a local cop from the north Indian state of Rajasthan kneeling on a man’s neck has just come up. Now, the video capturing the act has gone viral.
According to local news reports, on June 4, cops in the city of Jodhpur caught a man named Mukesh Kumar Prajapat roaming the streets without a face mask. In India, wearing a face mask has been made mandatory in many cities because of the pandemic. The police officials maintain that they were compelled to act in self-defence after Prajapat attacked them. “If a policeman is being slapped and punched while in uniform, then it is embarrassing for the entire society,” said Priti Chandra, the deputy commissioner of police in Jodhpur. “I feel the society should be mature enough to realise that if a man is in uniform, then it shouldn’t mean that the person should be criticised without a reason.”
Many Twitter users have come out in support of the man subjected to this brutality.
The police further deflected blame by claiming that Prajapat has a history of violence, and that he had also gouged out his father’s eyes. In India, police brutality has been a recurrent issue, especially under the lockdown. Many cops have beaten up people for flouting the lockdown rules.
Vikram Singh, the former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, expressed his shock over the incident. “By and large, police officers, or corona warriors, have given an excellent account of their service,” he told Times Now “But a single incident like this brings a bad name and a blot on bright khakhi. There should be zero tolerance.”
Currently, Prajapat is under arrest for attacking an on-duty cop. No action against the cops has been taken. However, Singh maintains that the incident should be investigated, and the cops involved suspended if found guilty.
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