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Push-up penalty for calling cops
- Cry for help from stalkers lands students in lock-up

New Delhi, July 23: Delhi High Court today issued notices to a top police officer and several other members of the force following a report that three Delhi University students were made to do push-ups at a police station after they called for help from stalkers.

The three boys were returning home with two girls, also students of the university, after night duty at a call centre when they realised they were being chased by four men in a Maruti Zen on the intervening night between Tuesday and Wednesday. They then dialled the police control room, inviting more trouble.

The court issued notices to deputy commissioner, southwest, R.S. Yadav, assistant commissioner Bhawan Singh, Ramesh Chander, station house officer of Kapashera police station where the students, according to the report, were punished, and ASI Durgesh Kumar.

Justice R.S. Sodhi asked the officials “to show cause” why proceedings should not be initiated against them and told them to reply on July 29.

Notices were also sent to the reporter, the victims and the call centre where the five worked. Yadav could not be reached but the joint commissioner, southern range, said: “We will look into the matter.”

The notices have come two days after Delhi police commissioner K.K. Paul was summoned by the Union home minister to explain the deteriorating law and order situation in the capital. The meeting followed the abduction and gangrape of a woman in a moving car the day earlier. Earlier on May 8, a college student was abducted and gangraped, again in a moving car.

The latest incident involving the five final-year English honours students took place as they approached Dwarka. When they noticed a car following them, they tried to speed away but their car got stuck in a muddy patch.

When the four men in the Maruti Zen got out and began banging on the rolled-up windows, the students called the police. A few minutes later, six vans reached the spot. When the students complained to the police, SHO Chander allegedly slapped one of the boys. The four stalkers then claimed they were trying to help as the car had got stuck. The five students and the four men were taken to Kapashera police station where they were put in the lock-up.

After an hour, ASI Kumar convinced the students to call their parents and say they had jumped a traffic light and did not have valid car papers. The students complied, hoping they would be set free. But the three boys were then lined up and made to do “200 pull-ups” and “300 push-ups”. The boys and the four men were then produced before a magistrate. The boys claimed magistrate Veena Rani did not listen to the complaint.

As the police claimed the boys had misbehaved with the DCP, she refused to grant them bail but allowed the girls to leave. The three boys, along with the four men, were taken to Tihar Jail where they spent the rest of the night without food and the next day until their parents bailed them out.

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