CRPF commando granted bail by Karnataka court

CRPF commando granted bail by Karnataka court; sent to training school by force

A local court in Karnataka on Tuesday granted bail to a CRPF commando who was arrested by state police officials for alleged assault on them during COVID-19 lockdown duty, a charge contested strongly by the paramilitary.

The jawan has been taken to the jungle warfare training school of the paramilitary force in Belagavi district, a senior official said.

Constable Sachin Savant of the 207th CoBRA battalion was granted regular bail by a court located in Chikodi taluka of the district, he said.

A team of CRPF and CoBRA officials were present in the court during the proceeding during which the state police did not oppose the bail, the official said.

The commando was arrested by police on April 23 from Examba village (Belagavi district) when he was washing his bike outside his house without wearing a mask, as required under the coronavirus prevention protocol.

An altercation and physical fight took place between the two sides, following which the trooper was taken to the local police station and arrested.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had on Monday taken up the case with the Karnataka director general of police (DGP), calling the incident "unpleasant".

The CRPF letter said commando Savant was "manhandled, ill-treated, paraded to the police station barefooted, kept in chains and handcuffs" by police personnel and sought the intervention of state Director General of Police Praveen Sood.

The paramilitary had said that from the scrutiny of a viral video on social media of the incident "it is apparent that the conduct of the police personnel was not citizen-centric".

A police report had said the CoBRA commando "started the altercation" with the beat constable and another policeman accompanying him, and "assaulted" them.

As per the official Twitter handle of the Karnataka DGP's on Monday evening, "IGP (inspector-general of police) Belagavi has been asked to enquire into the incident involving the CRPF constable and action will be taken against guilty after receipt of the report".

The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) unit of the CRPF specialises in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare.