NEW DELHI: A young Naval officer has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, drawing his attention to an incident in which policemen allegedly showed disrespect to the national flag during his election campaign in Maharashtra.
Lieutenant Nikhil Lad, Navigating Officer of the anti-submarine vessel INS Abhay, narrated how he was manhandled by policemen when he tried to take out a tricolour from a dustbin. The incident allegedly took place on October 9, when Modi was leaving Nagpur after attending an election rally late in the evening.
In his two-page letter to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Lieutenant Lad said he had seen a tricolour lying on a road, unattended by the policemen, who were making way for the Prime Minister’s motorcade. As the busy policemen paid no attention to the national flag, Lieutenant Lad went ahead to pick it up. But before he could move, a policeman pushed him aside.
According to the Naval officer, one of the policemen then threw the tricolour into a dustbin to make the street clean for Modi’s motorcade.
“When I asked him why he showed disrespect to the tricolour, he shouted and asked me to leave,” he said.
“When I confronted him, he pushed me and went ahead to abuse me physically,” the Naval officer wrote in his letter. And when he complained to a senior inspector about the incident, he also didn’t pay any attention. “He [the inspector] kept standing, and a group of three constables and havildars kept pushing me and shouting at me,” Lieutenant Lad added.
“If the Prime Minister had seen the tricolour lying unattended on the road, he himself would have stopped his car and picked it up,” he further wrote. Lieutenant Lad also claimed that he could identify all the policemen allegedly involved in the incident. The officer has sent copies of his letter to the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief(FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command, and the Nagpur Police Commissioner as well.