Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi: Police-tempo driver clash in Delhi, 18 people held for questioning

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New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Probing an attack on policemen by a tempo driver carrying a sword and his subsequent thrashing by police personnel in Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar area on Sunday, a fact-finding team headed by Joint Commissioner Manish Kumar Aggarwal on Tuesday recorded statements of 15 people and questioned 18 others. The Crime Branch, too, is investigating the case.

Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik on Tuesday sent a detailed report of the episode to the Home Ministry.

A minor incident of road rage turned into a major clash involving sword-wielding Sarbjeet Singh, the tempo driver, his son and men in khaki with a plainclothesman trying to overpower Sarbjeet. All this was reportedly recorded on CCTV in full public view in the middle of a busy road on Sunday.

The entire episode reportedly lasted over six minutes, but it led to a major traffic snarl caused by protestors who alleged police high-handedness.

The Crime Branch is probing how police personnel fell to such sudden provocation.

“A Crime Branch team has reviewed a report of the local police station in order to understand the sequence of events,” a senor police officer told IANS.

A video clip of the incident, which took place on Sunday evening at north-west Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, showed a policeman arguing with tempo driver Sarbjeet Singh. The policeman is shown rushing to the nearby police station and returning with at least three of his colleagues.

The policemen are then shown scared of the sword-wielding Sarbjeet, who is overpowered by a man in plainclothes. The clip also shows Sarbjeet’s son trying to run the policemen over with his vehicle. Sarbjeet is shown pinned on the ground and a policeman hitting him repeatedly.

“We are scanning the CCTV footage to know the timeline of the incident and have also recorded the statement of eyewitnesses,” said the police officer.

“We are trying to put together the sequence, including the initial heated exchange between Sarbjeet Singh and the policemen,” he added.

During investigation, Delhi Police found that Sarbjeet Singh was earlier involved in four other cases “due to his short temper”.

The incident led to outrage in the Sikh community and among auto, taxi and Gramin Seva drivers who protested outside Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO. The agitators demanded suspension of all policemen involved in the incident.

The situation is tense around Mukherjee Nagar Police Station, as some members of Sikh Community continue with the sit-in.

Three additional police companies (around 300 men) are out to bring the situation under control, sources said.

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