How Delhi Cop Monika Bhardwaj Sensibly Prevented a Dentist’s Murder From Becoming a Communal Issue


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When the dentist Dr Pankaj Narang in Delhi was murdered, there was quick police action to nab the culprits. But more than that, the entire case was handled sensitively by IPS officer Monika Bhardwaj, who thwarted a possible communal riot, by rejecting the rumour that it had anything to do with communalism.

Bhardwaj received flak on social media for denying the communal angle. But, she also received widespread praise for having the presence of mind to deal with the matter sensibly.

Monika Bhardwaj

Monika Bhardwaj

Source: Twitter

The entire issue started when on Wednesday, March 23, Vikaspuri resident Dr. Narang was playing with his son and his nephew, right outside their house. In what is considered a normal incidence, the cricket ball that they were playing with, got shot off a little beyond their reach, and hit on a passing bike. The two men on the bike, however, seemed to take it the wrong way. Words were exchanged between the dentist and the two men, after which the men left their bike at the spot and walked away. Dr. Narang took the children back home, glad that the matter was over.

But it wasn’t. In a few minutes, a gang of a dozen men were gathered outside his house, calling out to him. They dragged him out in front of his family, and then beat him with sticks. It eventually led to his death.

When the news of his death spread, Delhi was in a fit of rage. The cops caught the people involved after identifying them through CCTV cameras. While arrests were being made, there were politicians who were ready to paint the picture red, blaming certain religions and communities. On their own, they said that Dr Narang was a victim of communal violence, and that being a Hindu, he was killed by Bangladeshi Muslims.

At this time, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (West), Monika Bhardwaj, posted tweets with details of the accused. Sensibly, she snuffed out the rumours and any potential for communal blame game. She tweeted, “4 juveniles among 9 arrested for murder of vikaspuri doctor. No religious angle at all, as rumoured by some. We appeal u to maintain peace.” In the next tweet, she rejected the rumour that he was killed by Bangladeshis or Muslims.

Bhardwaj regularly posts tweets with tips on safety. “The officer had come across rumours related to the case. So she sought a religious break-up of the suspects from her subordinates and promptly put them on Twitter in a bid to dispel all rumours,” said a senior officer.

Monika Bhardwaj, who is from Haryana, cracked the IPS exam in 2009. She followed her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps to join the police services. Before this, she was posted in Pondicherry, where she had received praise for efficiently handling a gang rape case and arresting suspects without fear.

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