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Cops thrash park couples

Lucknow, Dec. 20: It was meant to be a police drive to check eve teasers. Instead, some 30 couples enjoying a leisurely afternoon at Meerut’s Gandhi Bagh got thrashed by the cops yesterday.

The raiding Meerut police party, which included women personnel, locked the gate of the park so that none of the couples could escape the swoop.

They then dragged them and began beating the couples mercilessly in front of television cameras, even as some teenaged girls pleaded innocence and begged to be set free.

The TV images showed the cops hurling abuses while assaulting and forcing some of the girls to show their faces to the cameras.

The alleged atrocities continued for about two hours during which some married couples in the park were beaten up too.

Newly-married Santosh Mishra and his wife told the cops that they “got married last week”. They even gave their address. “This is our address. Go to our house and find out,” the 22-year-old private company employee in Meerut told them. Instead the police told him to “go home and enjoy your life. Why are you here”' they charged.

Locals said some of the victims fell ill later.

The police violence has embarrassed the National Human Rights Commission and angered local students’ bodies.

The rights panel, taking suo motu action, today served notices on R.R. Verma, the district superintendent of police, Meerut, and the home secretary of the Uttar Pradesh government asking for an explanation into the alleged police barbarity.

Angry students of local colleges hit the streets this morning, burning effigies of Verma. In some areas, elderly residents also protested.

Verma said: “I came to know about the incident today. If I get any specific allegations, I will order a probe.”

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