A day after threat letter, cops ‘thrash’ lensman for clicking pics

A day after the international airport in the city received a threat letter purportedly from terror outfit Lashkar-e Toiba (LeT), police allegedly thrashed a youth who was clicking pictures of a residential building mentioned as one of the targets in the letter.

The victim, Sidhraj Solanki (19), later told police he was sent to click the photographs for his father, a photographer working with a news wire.

The incident took place near Bakeri City scheme on Vejalpur-Makarba Road.

According to the victim's statement given to police at V S Hospital where he was treated, he had climbed the wall to take photographs of the police security outside the building. He had clicked three to four pictures when a constable pulled him from behind. As Solanki fell down, the constable asked him why he was clicking pictures. Not convinced with his answers, the constable allegedly began beating him up with sticks on head and legs.

Solanki apparently did not have a press card or an identity proof to show he worked for a media entity.

Ajitsinh, the victim's father, said, "We had received a call from an English daily that policemen have arrived at the residential building for security and we needed to take some photographs. I could not go there due to another assignment and so I sent my son, who does freelancing."

Police, however, claimed the constable had let off Sidhraj with a "warning".

Inspector R G Desai said, "The constable was just doing his duty. He did not beat him up at all. The photographer felt bad that we tried to stop his son, so he lodged a complaint against the constable."

The victim, who has suffered head and body injuries, was discharged from the hospital after treatment. Vejalpur police have registered a case of causing hurt under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code.

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