“Aa changathi yude location evidaya (Where is this friend located)?”
As the “friend” happened to be Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Assistant Commissioner of Police C.M. Pradeep Kumar got into trouble.
Kumar, worried after getting a message that Gandhi — who was visiting Kerala and was in Kozhikode, 400 km north of Thiruvananthapuram — had slipped out of the Government House on Wednesday night, did not notice that the wireless set in his vehicle was switched on.
Gandhi had given security the slip and had gone for dinner to a local restaurant. When Kumar heard about this, he said: “Where is this friend located? What is he doing there?”
The remark soon made its way to Kumar’s bosses and Additional Director General of Police (north) Mahesh Kumar Singla asked Kozhikode Police Commissioner S. Sreejith to investigate the incident.
Political parties in the state have split in their reaction to incident. The Youth Congress sought action against Kumar while the Democratic Federation of Youth in India said it would oppose any action against him.
A police officer, who did not wish to be identified, said: “What is wrong in calling someone a friend? Rahul Gandhi has asked us more than once not to call him ‘sir’.”
Many police officials are upset with Gandhi for slipping through the security cordon. “The restaurant where he went is a nightmare for any security official. It is situated under an over-bridge and always crowded,” said a police officer