BHUBANESWAR: In a shocking incident, former National Hockey Captain Prabodh Tirkey was reduced to tears after being allegedly abused by an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the Commissionerate of Police at Vidyut Marg on Saturday night.
According to sources, Tirkey was on his way to Unit-VI through Jaydev Vihar-Raj Bhavan road when he was intercepted by an ASI who instructed Tirkey to move to the extreme left lane. As vehicles were speeding on either lanes, Tirkey expressed his inability to move to the left. Following this, the police official abused and forced him to shift the vehicle to allow a VIP’s car to pass.
While the former Indian skipper was manoeuvring his car, complying with the ASI’s orders, the latter allegedly abused him. Even after Tirkey identified himself and produced an identity card, the ASI continued to rain slangs leaving one of the best defenders in World Hockey in tears.
The Commissionerate of Police, however, dismissed the incident as a minor squabble between Tirkey and the ASI. “The ASI intervened while Tirkey was involved in an altercation with the driver of another vehicle on the main road. The matter was amicably resolved and no complaint has been filed in this regard,” DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said.
The incident drew sharp criticism from political and sports circles. Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram condemned the act by the police as an insult to tribals. “Police assault and misbehaviour towards Prabodh Tirkey, former India Hockey Captain by Police is strongly condemned - is an insult to Tribes,” Jual tweeted.
“This is a serious incident as it is not only an assault to a player of national stature but insult to an important figure among tribal youths. I demand immediate administrative action against police excesses and arrogance,” the Union Minister’s post stated.
Rajya Sabha member Ranjib Biswal also joined Oram and criticised the alleged police high-handedness. “I strongly condemn humiliation and assault on former Hockey India Captain Prabodh Tirkey by Traffic Police in Bhubaneswar,” Biswal, the former Indian Premier League chairman posted on the micro-blogging site.
On Sunday, activists of the saffron party came out in large number and staged an agitation at Station Square in support of Tirkey.