<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It began like any other day. Anil Ajmeriya (30), sub-inspector at Madhya Pradesh’s Baihar police station in Balaghat district and father of a three-month-old girl, left for work as usual. In a few hours, however, everything was to change not only for him but for six others as well.The story took off on September 24 with an argument on WhatsApp group oninews1vavanchal, which has locals, journalists, political activists and cops as its members. Baihar resident Javaid and RSS local leader Suresh Yadav were involved in a verbal battle, in which, reportedly, Yadav made derogatory remarks against a particular community. A police complaint was filed against him the very next day.According to the police, Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Sharma summoned Yadav, who was then picked up by a team of police officers. On way to the police station, Yadav made a bid to escape. He allegedly ran into a pharmacy, owned by one Swami Asarti, near the police station. Cops claimed they had to use force to bring Yadav to the station, where he was put under arrest and subsequently released on bail.The story didn’t end there.An FIR against Yadav was registered around 9pm on September 25. At 4am the very next day, Yadav registered an FIR against the Addl SP, station house in-charge Zia-ul-Haq, Ajmeriya, an Assistant Sub-Inspector and three constables for allegedly beating him in police custody. Protests followed the news and a riot broke out in the area.Meanwhile during the day, the pharmacy owner also filed an FIR against the cops for trespassing on his property. In addition, two other FIRs were registered against unknown people, one for rioting and another for beating a constable. Among all these complaints, FIRs against the cops attracted more notice, forcing the police personnel to go into hiding.”I had to leave my family in a rush. I am scared,” said Ajmeriya, whose sister and father are also in the Madhya Pradesh police force. “We are not influential. We’re just trying to do our job. If the negative news and lies that are being spread about me reach my home in Morena, my family will be in trouble,” he said, adding that a false campaign has been started against the cops by political groups.”We have nowhere to go. We have tried to contact all senior officials but no one has come forward to help us,” said Ajmeriya nervously, while he repeatedly checked out his surroundings for a possible police party trailing him.Now two weeks after the incident, ironically, Ajmeriya, Haq and five other cops, including the additional SP of Balaghat, have become “fugitives” and “absconders” and accused, wanted by the MP police. On Tuesday, Ajmeriya and Haq travelled all the way to the National Capital Region (NCR) to seek legal advice.”Not even in my worst dreams had I ever imagined that I would be in hiding and running like a criminal,” Haq said. “We have not surrendered because back home, it will be seen as admission of guilt. We are officers of the law.If we are punished for performing our duty, what message will be sent to society?” he rued.In between, the cops tried to diffuse the tension by cracking a few jokes. “They have put charges of attempt to murder, rioting and looting on us. Davai bhi koi lootnay ki cheez hai?” said Haq, before adding, “My grandfather retired as a DSP before he went for Haj.”The duo did not reveal how they reached NCR but said that they have been staying with friends and well-wishers. They added they were not using the same number for fear of being tracked.”We will explore legal options, including anticipatory bail. I have arrested hundreds of people. If I’m put behind the bars with the criminals, I don’t know how will I survive,” Haq said.