Khaki under attack: Assaults on cops on lockdown duty go up in Ludhiana
Amid stricter policing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a marked increase in the number of assaults on government officials, including police personnel.
After the lockdown was imposed in March, around 12 police personnel have reported being assaulted while on duty. Only two cases of assault on officials were reported this year before lockdown was imposed.
Mostly lower-rung police officials, ranging from assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) to constables, are on the receiving end as they spend the most time in the field. “Many entitled people get away with misbehaving with cops due to political interference,” said an official, who did not wish to be named, adding, “On being stopped for checking, most people make it a prestige issue and start hurling abuses at the cops.”
Such people can be booked under Sections 353 (use of assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
Commissioner of police Rakesh Agrawal said, “Attacks on men in uniform will not be tolerated. Police are taking the matter seriously and FIRs have been lodged against the accused.”
City-based psychiatrist Dr Rajiv Sharma said, “The restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus have affected some people mentally as well as physically. As the police take action against violators, some people view cops as villains for deterring them, which is one of the reasons behind increased assault on police personnel.”