New Delhi: Taking strong exception to a police officer slapping a young girl during a recent  protest against rape of a minor, the Supreme Court on  Thursday sought explanation from the Delhi Police chief on the incident.

A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi directed the Police Commissioner to file an affidavit to explain why a young girl was beaten up during the protest against the rape of five-year-old.

Notably, an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) on April 19 had slapped a young girl inside a hospital where she and others were protesting against the brutal rape of a five- year-old girl. ACP B S Ahlawat slapped the girl at least four times inside the hospital. He was suspended with immediate effect by the Police Commissioner.

Delhi Police Chief has been under fire over the police's inadequate response, high-handeness and over growing crimes against women in the capital.

On the behaviour of some policemen following the rape incident, the commissioner had recently said that no time was lost in initiating action against the police officials concerned.

Also taking cognisance of another incident of police brutality in Aligarh where a 65-year-old woman was assaulted, the bench directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to file an affidavit on the incident.

Describing such incidents of police excesses as 'insult to the country', the Apex Court said they have to be prevented. "Even an animal won't do what the police officers are doing everyday in different parts of the country," the bench said while referring to the Aligarh incident.

"Is your government left without shame?" the bench asked Gaurav Bhatia, the counsel appearing for the UP government. The court, while slamming the state government, also recalled the resignation by Lal Bahadur Shastri from the post of the Railway Minister taking moral responsibility following a railway accident.
    
"Where has your sense gone?" the bench said, adding, "How can police officers beat an unarmed lady?"

The court made the observations with regard to a recent incident when an elderly woman was knocked down by a police officer with his baton during a lathicharge to quell protests over the alleged rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Aligarh.

(JPN/Agencies)

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