In the clip that is recorded on phone, Navtake is heard telling Maratha community men that she beats up Scheduled Caste people who come to her to lodge complaints against upper caste atrocities under the Atrocities Act.
A probe has been ordered against a police officer in Maharashtra for lodging fake cases against Dalits and Muslims. DSP Bhagyashree Navtake was caught on camera making communal remarks and the video soon went viral leaving Maharashtra government red-faced.
Beed Superintendent of Police Shreedhar Govindrajan has ordered an inquiry against his deputy Navtake but the rot in the police system against minorities has been exposed. In the video, she said that she beats up Dalits and Muslims as revenge for filing complaints under the Atrocities Act. She also identifies herself as a Maratha and is sympathetic to the cause.
“In the clip that is recorded on phone, Navtake is heard telling Maratha community men that she beats up Scheduled Caste people who come to her to lodge complaints against upper caste atrocities under the Atrocities Act. “I tie the hands and legs of Dalits and take my anger on them,” she is allegedly heard in the clip. Another person in the video is also heard saying that the IPS officer has filed cases under Section 307 of the IPC of attempt to murder against Muslims so that they don’t get bail easily,” reported Economic Times.
“Navtake is also allegedly heard saying that when she was posted in Pimpri recently, she did not arrest Marathas accused of caste atrocities for three days, and instead asked the Marathas to file a false case against the Dalits. The IPS officer is also heard advising the Marathas to file a case under Section 122 of the IPC, which is an offence to bear arms without a licence. Many Dalit organisations have demanded action against the officer who identifies herself as a Maratha,” the report said.
The police have ordered an investigation against the IPS officer from Beed’s Majalgaon tehsil, but reports suggest that this is not the first time she has shielded Marathas from cases filed against them.
“The group of persons, allegedly Marathas, has come to seek the officer’s help as it appears that a case under the Atrocities Act has been lodged against them by members of the Dalit community. The officer is further heard saying that if she released them [the Marathas] now, there would be a hue and cry. The group is heard expressing their appreciation for the officer for not arresting members of the Maratha community in a similar case in Pimpri where she was posted,” the Hindu reported.
“I saw you when you were brought in front of me, but I could not do anything as there were other policemen. I know you were pleading with me, but if I had stopped them, they would have objected. And a wrong message would have gone out that I am supporting you because I am a Maratha, as they have also seen how I have thrashed 21 Dalits and Muslims in the past six months… I have registered cases under Section 307 against Dalits, and hence a strong message was sent out that madam doesn’t spare anyone. If I had spared you, it would have looked like madam is a Maratha and hence stopped us from assaulting (Marathas),” she is heard saying in the video clip.
“Narrating another incident, the woman says while she was posted in Pimpri near Pune city, she didn’t arrest accused Marathas in a case for three days and instead told them to file a false case against the Dalit in question. “An inquiry has been ordered. IG Dorje will carry out an inquiry to probe the authenticity of the clip and submit his report. During the course of the inquiry, Navtake would be asked to explain her stand,” said Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Parambir Singh in a report by the Indian Express.
Navtake can also be heard saying that she was unhappy because she had to become an IPS officer despite ranking 125 in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination. "I am from the 'open' (general) category... A candidate from the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category became an IAS officer despite scoring 600th rank," she said in the video.
Sources said a preliminary assessment of the clip has revealed that the video was shot in Navtake’s office in Majalgaon. The date and time of the video will be a matter of probe. Sources added that the men in the video are workers of the Maratha Kranti Morcha that had staged protests across the state seeking reservation in jobs and education for the Marathas.
Govindrajan said that Bahujan Vikas Morcha, a Dalit outfit, has submitted an application, urging them to file an FIR against Navtake.
“A key demand in the Maratha rallies for reservations across Maharashtra in the last two years has been to dilute the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which the community believes unfairly targets them, citing low conviction rates. However, critics have said that conviction rates are low precisely because the state apparatus is biased against Dalits. The airing of the clip has sparked a debate in some circles about caste allegedly managing to prevail despite the atrocities act,” a report observed.