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I was just doing my duty, says cop who saved Muslim youth’s life

Gagandeep Singh, the Uttarakhand police officer who saved a Muslim youth from an angry mob, says he used his body as a shield between the boy and the mob.

dehradun Updated: May 26, 2018 16:23 IST
Neeraj Santoshi 
Neeraj Santoshi 
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Gagandeep Singh, sub-inspector at Ramnagar police station in Uttarakhand.(HT Photo)

Gagandeep Singh, the Uttarakhand police officer who saved a Muslim youth from an angry mob, says he was doing his duty.

The sub-inspector at Ramnagar police station, who is being hailed as a hero on social media, also disapproved of right-wing activists or people in general attacking or disturbing a couple, if both are adults.

The 28-year-old police officer, who hails from Udham Singh Nagar, told HT that the couple was sitting at a river bank near Girja temple when the angry mob attacked them.

Girija temple is about 15 km from Ramnagar town in Nainital district.

“The incident happened around 12 pm on May 22 when a large number of devotees were thronging the temple for Ganga Dushera celebrations. I was on duty in the temple premises when I heard people shouting and bringing this 24-year-old Muslim youth Irfan towards the temple. They had beaten him up near the river bank, nearly 50 metres down from the temple,” he said.

Singh said realising the danger to the life of the youth, he immediately rushed towards the crowd.

“I held him close to myself and tried to take him away from the angry mob. I used my body as a shield to save him from the blows of the angry mob. It was with much difficulty that I was able to take him away,” he said.

Singh said in the mean time, he has asked a women inspector to take away the girl from the rear side of the temple premises.

He said they brought the couple to the police station premises so that they are not attacked again.

“We questioned them briefly. Both are adults. The boy was around 24 years old and the girl is above 18 years. After sometime, when we were assured, we escorted them out of the area safely,” he said.

On announcement of Rs 2,500 cash reward for his brave act by the police department, Singh, who joined police force in 2015, said: “I was just doing my duty. I couldn’t have allowed the angry crowd to harm the youth. It would have weighed heavily on my conscience throughout the rest of my life had anything happened to the youth,” he said.

Singh said he felt good on the reward announced by his department as “our work is being acknowledged. It encourages and motivates us to do our duty no matter what the odds”.

First Published: May 25, 2018 22:02 IST