In a recent video that took the internet by storm, a lady police officer from Uttar Pradesh (UP), dubbed the ‘Dabangg’ cop, took a stand against an angry mob shouting anti-police slogans.
Yelling ‘police murdabad’ at the top of their voices, a bunch of angry supporters protested a challan issued to BJP leader Pramod Lodhi for not having proper documentation of his vehicle and to avoid producing him in court.
But Sayana Circle Officer Shrestha Thakur wasn’t having any of that.
She stepped in and pronounced in clear words, “You please go and get written orders from the Chief Minister that the police have no right to check vehicles and we will stop standing on the road.”
When the argument got heated, a karyakarta supporter argued that the police were targeting the BJP, and despite having paid the fine of Rs. 200, it was unfair for the station officers to have resorted to physical assault of Lodhi.
She called him out, saying, “Firstly, I can even issue a complaint against you. You cannot talk to a government official like this.”
In a recent report by the Hindustan Times, BJP district president Himanshu Mittal said, “A station house officer slapped Pramod 15 times before putting him in the lockup. He was later sent to jail. When Pramod was being taken to court, a few of us decided to question the police about the manner in which they were treating him. We did not misbehave with the police, but they slapped an FIR on us anyway.”
Despite having shut down the mob, however, Thakur has been criticised for having promoted police brutality when she reportedly said, “We have the right to hit the lawbreakers and we will hit them.”
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) G Muniraj, who sent Thakur out to control the mob, said, “The circle officer was sent to the court because the protesters were preventing police from producing Pramod Lodhi in court. The officer did her duty. It was after nearly 40 minutes that she was able to get the accused produced before the court.”
But the karyakarta supporters have refused to back down from their stand. “We have spoken to the deputy chief minister and a few others. The police have been given two days’ time to investigate the issue and take action against the circle officer. If that does not happen, we will approach our state unit for further directions,” said Mittal.
Thakur’s one line summed it all, “The law is equal for all.”
While the bravery in the face of a mob and her refusal to conform to VVIP culture and uphold the law is commendable, it is a concern if cops believe that they have the right to use violence.