ARARIA: A policeman was forced to do 50 sit-ups here by a senior agriculture officer after he stopped the bureaucrat's vehicle and asked him to show the mandatory pass for moving during the coronavirus lockdown, in yet another instance of front-line workers facing harassment.
Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey on Tuesday took strong note of the incident and asserted that action will be taken after a probe report is submitted.
The incident, whose video has gone viral on the social media, occurred near Surajpur pul (bridge) under Jokihat police station area on Monday when chowkidar Ganesh Lal Tatma halted the vehicle of District Agriculture Officer Manoj Kumar and asked for the pass needed to move around during the lockdown imposed in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
What is this justice sir ?— Kishan Jha (@kishanjha99) April 21, 2020
It is being told that the Bihar police constable, trying to follow the lockdown rule, gave this punishment for not recognizing the agricultural officer.The incident of Bairgachhi police station area of Araria district is being reported.@NitishKumar pic.twitter.com/KoJyMrZEk0
This riled the officer who, after severely scolding the chowkidar, forced him to do 50 sit-ups while holding his ears.
The agriculture officer did not stop at this and threatened that he could have sent Tatma to jail had he not been in a hurry to attend a video conference.
A police officer, who was heard in the video posing as incharge, also upbraided Tatma for "letting him down" in front of the senior officer.
"You have made me feel insulted in front of the senior officer," the police officer was heard yelling at the chowkidar.
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Pandey said he talked to Inspector General of Police and Superintendent of Police of Araria over the unpleasant incident.
He disapproved of the conduct of the officials, saying they insulted the chowkidar who as part of the administration was playing an important role in enforcing the lockdown.
It is very shameful and against human dignity, Pandey said.
Superintendent of Police Dhurat Sayali has ordered a probe into the incident.
The DGP said strong action will be taken against the erring officials on the basis of the inquiry report.
Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav came down heavily on the state government for letting bureaucracy "run the show" in the state, where a "dutiful" policeman as made to do sit-ups by an officer.
"Bureaucracy is unbridled in Bihar. How a District Agriculture Officer is making an elderly chowkidar do sit-ups as the dutiful chowkidar just asked (officer) to show a valid pass ," Yadav said in a tweet message.
Bihar has reported over 100 case of COVID-19.
There have been several instances of policemen being attacked or harassed while enforcing the lockdown.
A policeman's hand was chopped off and two other police officials were injured when a group of people allegedly attacked them in Punjab's Patiala district when the cops stopped their vehicle and asked them to show the pass needed to move during the lockdown restrictions.