Nigerian protests against police brutality have hit the Indian streets. Several people staged protests in Delhi over police brutality and raised voices in solidarity with the Nigerains.
Tens of thousands of people have been staging nationwide protests in Nigeria ever since October, calling for the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), with slogans such as #EndSARS.
The squad has been accused of extrajudicial killings, extortion, rape etc.
WHAT IS SARS
SARS was formed in 1992 as a covert force to deal with violent crimes including armed robbery, kidnapping, car-jacking etc. Because it was working as a covert force, the officers on duty did not wear uniforms. The squad comes under the government jurisdiction.
However, the unit's reputation came into light after non-governmental organisation, Amnesty International accused the team of harassment, rape, extortion, extrajudicial killings and other forms of torture.
The police force denied all such allegations against the squad and also added that few officers who were reportedly involved in such acts were arrested and facing disciplinary actions.
HOW DID THE PROTESTS START
The nationwide protests started after a video, in which SARS officers were seen shooting a man in Delta state before he drove off in his car, sparked nationwide protests. The Police, however, denied the incident.
The protests had started peacefully, with thousands of people calling for an end to police brutality, especially abolishing the special unit SARS. Protestors even insisted that amid the protests, they still witnessed incidents of brutality. The police responded to protests using tear gas, water cannons and firing, that led to the death of at least 10 people nationwide.
The anger aggravated among people after the death of a 20-year-old journalist, Pelumi Onifade, who was allegedly arrested by officers of the Lagos State Task Force and was later found dead.
The management of the channel Pelumi worked for, confirmed his death. Intern with Gboah TV, Pelumi went missing on October 24. According to The Guardian report, while he was covering an attack by a mob at government premises, he was reportedly taken by the task force. The police force took him away despite his wearable showing that he was a reporter. He was later found dead at a mortuary after days of searching.
When the Chairman of the task force, Yinka Egbeyemi was contacted for comments, he said the matter has been forwarded for the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, and refrained from commenting further.
Pelumi's family, along with protestors are demanding justice from the government. Besides, the protestors also demanded justice for people who have been killed in police custody. They have demanded an independent body to investigate the cases of the victims, reported Reuters.