Footage has emerged of a Met Police officer appearing to punch a protester in the face amid demonstrations over the exploitation of farmers in India.
A video clip shows a large group of protestors gathered on a busy road holding banners, with a number of police officers attempting to manage the demonstration.
Suddenly, a commotion happens in the middle of the road involving a small group of demonstrators and officers, while surrounded by vehicles.
The video slows down and zooms in on a police officer who appears to punch a man in the face and then backs away.
Twitter account UB1UB2 uploaded the footage and captioned it: ‘Disgusting behaviour from the @metpoliceuk today as they punched a peaceful protestor in London’.
After video footage of the incident circulated on social media, users were quick to call on the police to take swift action against the officer.
One person tweeted to the Met Police: ‘This is disgraceful and clearly unprovoked. What action will be taken?’
Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli responded to the footage on Twitter, writing: ‘The footage has been passed on to the relevant people.’
He responded to further outraged comments adding that the video was ‘being looked at and will be dealt with appropriately’.
One user named Aman tweeted Chief Superintendent Karen Findlay, writing: ‘You can’t applaude your force when one of your officers is physically assaulting a peaceful protester [sic].’
Ms Findlay responded: ‘Aman any time you would like to come out with @MetTaskforce and see the challenges that officers have to manage in keeping Londoners safe, pls let me know. A greater understanding of every side is way way better. DM me thanks.’
Others questioned the authenticity of the footage and what had prompted the officer to allegedly attack the man, with one commenting that the video was ‘edited’.
Met Police said in a statement: ‘A complaint has been received in relation to this matter and is being assessed by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards. We are unable to comment further while this review is taking place.’
Following the protest, the force said there were ‘no reports of any injuries to attendees or officers’ and that 13 people were arrested for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
Four of those were subsequently de-arrested after providing their details to officers and were issued a fine, said the Met. The other nine remain in custody.
The Met added: ‘Three teenagers who were seen to set off a firework towards a crowd were spoken to by police and fireworks were confiscated from them… they were not arrested.’
Ahead of yesterday’s protests the forced issued a warning that London remains under strict tier two rules and had asked people to reconsider attending.
Protesters yesterday chanted outside the Indian High Commission in Holborn with banners reading ‘justice for farmers’ and branding Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘murderer’. Many waved flags in an act of solidarity with those protesting in India.
Farmers fear new legislation, introduced by Modi’s administration, will leave them at the mercy of private buyers and stop the Indian Government from buying rice and wheat at guaranteed prices.
The Sihk Federation UK tweeted photos and videos of the demonstration and said: ‘Seige of the Indian High Commission in London in support of farmers peacefully protesting in Delhi.’
Following the London protest, Commander Paul Brogden, said: ‘I would like to thank the officers who policed this protest under very challenging circumstances, and Londoners for their patience following the disruption to traffic caused by the numbers in attendance.
‘We had issued a reminder urging those who were planning to attend to reconsider but, unfortunately, a number of people decided not to follow that advice.’
He added: ‘I would like to remind everyone that although London has now moved to Tier Two, the capital remains in the midst of a pandemic; it is vital that we all play our part in the fight against Covid-19.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.