The Tower and Infrastructure Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) said today that an Indus Towers engineer was assaulted by Nirlipt Rai, Superintendent of Police at Amreli, Gujarat, and was then made to sign a statement absolving the SP of any responsibility. The association demanded action be taken against the SP.

Indus Towers Limited’s Field Staff Engineer (FSE) Mr. Ashish Dafda was travelling from Amreli to Hingorala site for preventive maintenance of [diesel generator] set. On Amreli-Babra highway, 5 kms before site, he was stopped by police team where Mr. Nirlipt Rai, SP, Amreli district stopped him and beat him badly with sticks. Despite showing the letter and curfew pass, ID card etc., the SP was not convinced,” TAIPA said in its statement. Rai allegedly assaulted Dafda for violating the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

MediaNama has emailed superintendent Rai for comment — he was not in office when we called. Rai is an IPS officer who had stints as a professor at Delhi University, and then the Indian Revenue Service; as an IPS officer. 

Telecom is an essential service and workers managing telcos’ networks and infrastructure are explicitly exempt from from the lockdown. TAIPA director-general T.R. Dua said, “We request for an immediate intervention to ensure that strict disciplinary action is taken against Mr. Nirlipt Rai, SP of Amreli District, Gujarat. [We would also like it to be ensured] that such incidents are not repeated in Gujarat state elsewhere.”