HC Rebukes Punjab Police for Racist Slur Against African National

The judge said he was “appalled” to find the term in challan papers submitted in a narcotics case to a trial court.

2 min read
Representational image of an anti-racism rally.

Noting that the incident had brought “shame to India,” the Punjab and Haryana High Court reportedly pulled up the Punjab Police for using a racist slur while referring to an African national in official documents, news agency PTI reported on Monday, 15 June.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rajiv Narain Raina reportedly said the court was appalled to find the term ‘n****’ used in the challan papers presented before the trial court in a narcotics case.

“This is a highly offensive word across the globe and no one has any business to use it, and much less the police. Hence, it is directed never to use the unprintable word in any police document including in challans or anywhere else on case papers including in investigation reports. This brings shame to India and hatred for the country,” the judge observed in his 12 June order.

The judge said he was “appalled” to find the term being used and has asked the Punjab Director General of Police to notify instructions in order to ensure that offensive terms are not used while referring to black people.

The court also reportedly directed that police personnel should be “sensitised and warned” about ensuring that nobody is discriminated against based on the colour of their skin.

“This brings shame to India and hatred for the country. The police appears to have assumed that every black is a drug peddler and should be treated as such. This is terrible thinking,”
Justice Raina

Stating that visitors and students from Africa deserved dignity and respect in a foreign land, the order said that African people prided themselves for being people “of all colours of the skin ranging from white to black and aboriginal.”

Justice Raina further said Mahatma Gandhi was “politically nurtured in South Africa for two decades, pioneering the apartheid movement and fighting against colour discrimination and for freedom against black laws just as he fought during India's freedom struggle”.

The next hearing will be held on 18 June.

Racism is witnessed in most neighbourhoods with African population in India. Watch this report from 2016 to learn more:

(With inputs from PTI)

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