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Alabama Governor tenders apology

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Published on February 20, 2015 with No Comments

The Governor of the American state of Alabama has apologised for the brutal police assault on a 57-year-old Indian and ordered a fresh probe after India conveyed its strong concern over the incident to him.

The apology by Governor Robert Bentley came after India’s Consul General in Atlanta Ajit Kumar met him and conveyed deep concern of the people and the Government of India over the “illegal and excessive use of force” against Sureshbhai Patel that left him partially paralysed.

“Please accept our sincere apology for this tragic incident to your government, Patel, and the citizens of India who reside and work in our state,” Bentley said in a letter to Kumar after the meeting.

Bentley also ordered the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to start a parallel investigation apart from the probe being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the February 6 incident in Alabama.

In the letter, Bentley “respectfully acknowledged” the “deep concern” expressed by “the Government of India and citizens of India who live in Alabama”. “I deeply regret the unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison Police Department on Sureshbhai Patel and for the injuries sustained by Patel. I sincerely hope that Patel continues to improve and that he will regain the full use of his legs,” the Alabama Governor said in the letter. Official sources said Governor Bentley assured the Consul General that “he will see that justice is done arising from the use of excessive force under the colour of state law upon a citizen of India”.

Meanwhile, Patel has been transferred from Huntsville hospital to a rehabilitation centre following improvement in his condition. Patel was still unable to walk.

 

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