“We Thought You Were Muslim”: Police in India Apologize for Beating Hindu Lawyer
A group of Hindu policemen in central India beat a diabetic man seeking treatment at a hospital after they mistook him for a Muslim man because of his beard.
(By: Alan Macleod, Mintpress News) In the late afternoon of March 23, 32-year-old lawyer Deepak Bundele was on his way to a hospital in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. A diabetic, he was there to pick up lifesaving medicine. Before he could make it inside, he was accosted by local police. As he began explaining to the police what he was doing outside, one officer slapped him, whereupon he was set upon by the rest, who beat him with wooden truncheons, continuing to hit him even after he fell to the ground. Bundele says he continued to bleed for three days after the incident, and the police only stopped after they found out he was a lawyer (and a former journalist), but by that time, he was bleeding from a number of orifices in his body.
Shame on you, MP Police.
You’re a bunch of communal bigots.
Deepak Bundele, a lawyer was beaten up brutally by the police.
MP Police Apologise for Beating Lawyer, ‘We Thought You Were Muslim,’ They Say#Islamophobia_In_India pic.twitter.com/CsDs1qMmqz
— Mohammed Habeeb Ur Rehman (@Habeebinamdar) May 20, 2020
Now, two months later, the police have apologized, asking him to withdraw his complaint against them. In a phone call Bundele recorded and shared with national media, a state police representative said:
“We are truly embarrassed because of the incident. If you want, I can bring those officials and make them apologize in person to you. They mistook you as a Muslim and assaulted you since you had a long beard. And the man (who assaulted you) is a staunch Hindu…In Hindu-Muslim riots whenever a Muslim is arrested, they always beat them up brutally.”
The police representative begged him to rescind his complaint, noting that he had “at least 50 friends from your [high] caste,” seemingly convinced this was a key bargaining chip.
“All those people are ashamed that they did something like this to a Hindu brother without knowing his identity. We do not have any enmity against you. Whenever there is a Hindu-Muslim riot, police always supports the Hindus; even Muslims know this. But whatever happened with you was because of ignorance. For that, I have no words,” he added.
Bundele replied that there were no riots that day, asking directly whether he was beaten up simply because he “looked Muslim.” “Yes, exactly,” the officer replied, appearing to believe the response cleared everything up.