India: Punjab cops allegedly forced lawyer into sexual acts with detained co-accused

In a troubling development, three Punjab police officers, including a superintendent of police, have been arrested in connection with allegations of severe abuse, including sexual assault, against an advocate and another individual while in police custody. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) consisting of four members has been assembled to investigate these grave allegations.

Ludhiana Police Commissioner Mandeep Singh Sidhu is chairing the SIT, which has been established to probe the allegations. Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Jaskaran Singh will supervise the SIT, which also comprises three other police officers as members.

The controversy emerged following a meeting between a delegation from the Bar Association of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Chandigarh. On Monday, six policemen, including an SP-rank officer, were charged with allegedly subjecting a lawyer to torture while he was in their custody. The allegations also included forcing the lawyer into sexual acts with a co-accused.

Those accused in the case include Muktsar SP (Investigation) Ramandeep Singh Bhullar, Inspector Raman Kumar Kamboj, constables Harbans Singh, Bhupinder Singh, and Gurpreet Singh, as well as home guard Dara Singh.

Notably, SP Bhullar, Inspector Raman Kumar Kamboj, and Constable Harbans Singh have already been arrested.

The newly formed SIT is tasked with investigating the allegations of custodial abuse, particularly focusing on the severe mistreatment and sexual assault claims. The team will subsequently submit its findings to the Director Bureau of Investigation in Punjab.

Since the initial reports of torture allegations emerged on Tuesday, lawyers associated with the Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana High Court have been boycotting work as a demonstration of solidarity with their fellow advocate and have been demanding the immediate dismissal and arrest of the implicated police officers.

India: Punjab cops allegedly forced lawyer into sexual acts with detained co-accused