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BJP MLA’s tirade against IPS officer in Gorakhpur sparks controversy

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-05-2017 PTI

Gorakhpur: A woman Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was reduced to tears after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA in chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s parliamentary constituency of Gorakhpur got into a heated argument with her over evicting protesters, with the incident being captured on the camera.

The incident occurred in Kareemnagar area of the city where some people, protesting against a liquor shop, were removed by the police. Local BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Aggarwal reached the spot amid complaints by protesters that the circle officer Charu Nigam had forcibly removed them. They alleged that the police had hit a woman and dragged an 80-year-old man.

The MLA questioned the IPS officer about her action and told that there had been orders by the state government that liquor shops will not function in densely populated residential areas. Amid the exchange of words, Nigam took out a handkerchief and wiped her tears. The visuals were captured and telecast by news channels.

The police officer later accused the MLA of misbehaving and insulting her. “The MLA misbehaved with me and refused to acknowledge in full public view that he is speaking to a woman police officer,” Nigam said. On the footage showing her wiping tears, she said, “I did not weep, as it is not ingrained in my personality. However, I got emotional when my senior officer supported me.”

The protesters were removed from the road as they were obstructing the traffic, she said. When the MLA arrived, the road was free from protesters, which apparently angered him as had asked them to stay put and lift the blockade only after his persuasion, Nigam claimed.

On the other hand, Aggarwal accused the IPS officer of exercising high-handedness with the protesters, who were demanding that a liquor outlet in their locality be shut. “We are against the operation of liquor shops. People were peacefully protesting against the liquor shops, but the woman police officer forcibly removed the protesters and while doing so, she hit a woman and dragged an 80-year-old man. This simply cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Aggarwal rubbished allegations that he misbehaved with her. He alleged that there was a tacit understanding between the police and the liquor mafia as a liquor shop closed 15 days ago had suddenly started doing business again.

When asked to comment on the footage telecast by local news channels, Aggarwal said, “Is my body language showing that I am misbehaving with her? I was not speaking to the CO (Charu Nigam), but to the SP (City). See my body language properly.” “If you see the video recording of the incident, you will find the woman officer removing the protesters forcibly...you will see the reality,” the MLA said.

Later, Nigam took to Facebook to thank everyone who supported her. “My training has not taught me to be weak. I just did not expect that SP city Ganesh Saha sir would outrightly reject the irrational argument and talk about my injury (sic),” she posted on the social networking site. “I was the seniormost officer in the police there but when sir came and stood by the force, I got emotional. The media has taken this stand because every one of them saw both incidents and this shows the positivity of the media in Gorakhpur. I am thankful to them to have shown the truth with least manipulation,” she said.

The 2009 batch IPS officer said the people should not think that “I am weak because I had tears in my eyes. It was due to the tenderness associated with women”.

The woman IPS officer has been quite active in the newly formed anti-Romeo squad and has been nick-named by some media organisations as ‘Lady Singham’ after a Bollywood movie.

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