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Karateka Neha Jangra, who beat up an errant traffic cop, bats for self-defence

For this 21-year-old karate champ from Haryana, martial arts isn’t just a sport, but a potent weapon of self-defence.

more lifestyle Updated: Apr 19, 2018 17:56 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Karate,Self Defence,Self Defence for Women
Neha Jangra recently won a silver medal in the 25th Haryana State Karate Championship.

One evening in Rohtak, Haryana, as 21-year-old Neha Jangra, returning home after her karate classes, boarded a shared auto, a cop in uniform, followed her into the vehicle, and proceeded to harass her. But what followed will shock you. The karateka, in a demonstration of her training in the martial art form, delivered a blow that left him gasping for breath.

“Instead of being mindful of his position, the cop who boarded the auto, asked for my number, harassed me, and insisted that I become friends with him,” she recalls in detail what transpired after she got in the auto. “This enraged me, and to teach him a lesson, I held him by his collar, and thrashed him. A policeman is supposed to help us, and this was his behaviour towards me,” she fumes.

Even though Jangra, with her karate skills and confidence, kept any further harm at bay, sexual crimes continue to be on the rise in the country, and the glaring apathy of institutions is disturbing. Even though the errant constable was later charged with sexual harassment, arrested, and placed under suspension, getting a police complaint filed, came with a lot of problems. Jangra recalls being handed out statements such as ‘Vardi pe haath mat lagao’, The girl must be at fault’ and the like.

“I learned karate with the thought that it’ll help me in case I need to defend myself in the future,” the karateka says. The horrific December 16 gangrape in the Capital was what spurred Jangra take up martial arts, which certainly paid off for the silver medallist of the 25th Haryana State Karate Championship.

And ever since, Jangra has gone viral with her heroics, with her story being shared online on various media platforms and newspapers. But all that the Rohtak resident has to say is that self-defence is something that every girl should learn.

“Karate is not just a sport for me, it’s given me the confidence to carry myself and walk fearlessly on the road,” shares Jangra, who recently participated in the Kai Senior National Level Karate Championship 2017. “Girls of all age groups — whether [in] school or college, or working — should learn to defend themselves, and families should support them wholeheartedly. Main chahti hoon ki har school mein self-defence classes lagein,” she says, before rushing off for practice at her academy.

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First Published: Apr 19, 2018 17:56 IST