Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s remark calling city policemen “thulla” harrowed a cop to the extent that he was admitted to hospital with hypertension, a Delhi court was told on Friday.
“I kept thinking about this (Kejriwal’s remark) till days later. I kept worrying that if the CM is saying these things about cops, then what will my family and friends think about me and the force,” said complainant Harvinder Singh, a constable posted at Govindpuri.
The court was recording pre-summoning evidence in a defamation case filed by the constable against the CM.
“I kept thinking about the issue so much that I got ill due to hypertension and was admitted to a hospital for treatment. I was discharged on July 20,” he said.
Metropolitan magistrate Anu Agarwal directed that the court would hear testimony of the duty officer in charge of the Govindpuri police station.
During the deposition, Singh, who was represented by advocate LN Rao, told the court that he had seen the television show on which Kejriwal made the “thulla” remark after he had completed a 14-hour shift.
Asked by the court what he thought “thulla” meant, Singh replied it meant a person who was “not able to deliver on the work given to him, or someone who does not do his work honestly.”
“I thought this remark would affect the police, not just in Delhi but across India,” he told the court.
The court had on August 3 found “sufficient material” to proceed with the criminal defamation complaint of Singh.
A second defamation complaint has also been filed against Kejriwal on the same issue by a constable posted at the Lajpat Nagar Police Station, Ajay Taneja.
Taneja had claimed he was mentally disturbed and felt insulted and defamed by Kejriwal’s remark. “If a word like ‘thulla’ is used by an eminent personality like the chief minister to refer to personnel of Delhi Police, then the general public would too have no respect or regard for police personnel who dedicate their entire lives to maintain law and order in Delhi,” he had said in his complaint.