Saying that Army’s image stands tarnished due to malafide actions of Nashik police, a senior army official has written to the Director General of Police, Maharashtra seeking investigations into the alleged involvement of cops in serial ‘bandhs’ (shutdown).
“It (bandhs) affects security of Army garrison at Nashik and morale of troops,” said a letter written by Lt Gen A K Mishra, Commandant and Colonel Commandant Regiment of Artillery.
In his letter dated January 18, Lt Gen Mishra has said that in the aftermath of clash between Army jawans and police and the former allegedly vandalising the Upnagar police station recently, a ‘bandh’ to protest the attack on police station has been allegedly enforced by the Nashik Police in full public view in the front of the Army Sentry Post adjoining the civil area.
According to Mishra, on January 17 too, a similar bandh was imposed at Upnagar Jail Road and Nashik Road areas at the behest of Nashik Police.
“Therefore we anticipate serial Bandhs in and around Nashik in days to come to malign the image of the Armed forces and create animosity between the public and the army,” said the Lt Gen in his letter.
Lt Gen Mishra also said that the commandant is seized with a very sensitive situation wherein the security of the Army Garrison and morale of the Armed forces stand undermined.
“In run up to the Republic day, wherein the nation’s sentiments towards the Armed forces to express their gratitude for their selfless sacrifices in defending their motherland is set to get compromised. This will be unacceptable to every proud and patriotic Indian,” said the letter.
On January 14, around 100-150 jawans, clad in track suits, arrived at Upnagar police station on motorcycles and went on a rampage there by damaging furniture, wireless equipment, telephone sets and also allegedly manhandled women police personnel.
Three policemen were injured in the attack and one of them was reported serious.
The attack was apparently to avenge the detention of three Army personnel, including an officer of School of Artillery, Deolali, by police on the night of January 13, following an altercation over parking of their vehicle at the gate of the police station.
Initially, the police registered an FIR against the Lieutenant-rank officer Ashish Bagul and one Jayant Narad, a BJP leader from Nashik road area, under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
Later, police booked the jawans under various sections of IPC, including criminal conspiracy, voluntarily causing grievous hurt and for outraging the modesty of women. Eighteen jawans were subsequently arrested.