‘Situation wasn’t normal’: UP cop after officer’s communal rant at CAA protest
The situation in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut was very tense during the protests against the amended citizenship law, a senior police official said after a video showing an officer of the force using communal language in the sensitive town went viral.
The response from the additional director general of police (Meerut Zone), Prashant Kumar, came after a video showing superintendent of police (city), Akhilesh Narayan Singh, telling a group of Muslims to go to Pakistan was widely circulated on social media on Friday.
“We were pelted with stones and anti-nationals slogans were being shouted despite our appeals,” additional director general of police (Meerut Zone), Prashant Kumar, said.
“Better words could have been chosen if the situation was normal. But the situation wasn’t normal and cops showed a lot of patience and restraint,” Kumar added.
The video seemed to have been shot inside a narrow lane where locals had clashed with police and shouted slogans during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests that turned violent in Meerut on December 20.
At least five people were shot in the western Uttar Pradesh town during violent protests against the new citizenship law that favours non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In the video, Singh is heard telling a group of Muslim men to go to Pakistan and threatening to ruin their career. Singh was seen expressing his anger at the people wearing black and green bands.
Singh said while speaking to Hindustan Times on Friday said that whatever was heard in the video was his response to a group of protesters who shouted pro-Pakistan slogans and said ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.
“In response, I advised them to better go to Pakistan for whose support e they were shouting slogans,” he explained.
He questioned the reason behind people shouting slogans only in support of Pakistan.
“I believe anyone who loves his country can’t tolerate such slogans,” he said.
After Samajwadi Party’s legislator from Meerut City area Rafeeq Ansari condemned Singh’s comments, the state police came under attack from Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
“The Constitution of India does not allow anyone to use such language against any citizen and if you are official holding a responsible post, your responsibility is more,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi on Saturday.
“The BJP has poisoned the institutions with communalism to such an extent that none of the officials respects the oath of the Constitution they take,” she added.