It has taken me almost a month to gather the strength to write about an incident of harassment that happened with me and my male friend in the name of moral policing. Before I start I want to be clear on some points:
This incident happened on November 28, 2017. My friend and I were sitting in a public park around 7 pm. At 7:30 pm, two policemen came and asked what we were doing in the park, late at night. We told them that we were just sitting and that it’s just 7:30.
They told us that the park closes at 6 pm and that we were not allowed to sit in the park at all. We apologised and told them that we’ll leave. However, instead of letting us go, they asked us for our personal details. I kept asking them about what we’d done and why we were being investigated. One of the policemen flipped when I told him that we weren’t doing anything and that we didn’t know that the closing time was 6 pm. The man asked me to shut up and told me how Nirbhaya was raped and murdered. He told me about how the police is always held responsible when anything happens to a woman.
I told him that I understood that the police becomes a soft target and that it isn’t possible for the police to be everywhere. I asked him what’s the point of telling me Nirbhaya’s story since it made me feel very uncomfortable. He didn’t talk to me after that.
After some time, this policeman asked me to call my parents. I asked him why and his answer was simple,“Why should I tell you, don’t you know already?” I called my mother and he humiliated her by suggesting to her that if her daughter wants to meet a guy, then she should ask her to book a hotel room.
He called my mother twice. The first time she couldn’t pick his call and I told him she must be busy at home because of the demise of a very close relative of ours. But he didn’t care at all. He called again, but this time the call did not connect and after a few minutes my mother called back. He humiliated my mother even though my mother made it very clear that I had known this boy for many years. After the call ended, he said I could leave but he won’t let the guy go. I said I won’t leave without him no matter what. He started threatening me that he’d call the woman cop and for the last time I asked him why? He had no answer.
The very next moment these policemen asked me to leave and took my friend on a bike forcefully and instead of going to the police station (as they claimed my friend would be taken to), they stopped midway. They asked him to get off the bike and call his father. They threatened him that they were going to arrest him, and only leave him when his father will come to the police station. When my friend requested the policeman not to involve his parents in this, they threatened that they would visit his home.
One of the policemen talked to him in a very harsh tone. When he refused to call his parents, then they asked him to call any of his friends or acquaintances to sign on some documents which they didn’t show or mention before. He didn’t even have anything to prove his identity at the time. Finally, when he showed his empty pockets, they talked to his sister who also insisted on asking what he was accused of and again, the police had no concrete answer. The policemen simply said that they would let him go.
I want to draw attention to the following points:
With this post, I have only one request – to make the police sensitive to what their actions can do to a person. I have the policeman’s number and his bike number, a video of him taking away my friend on a bike. But as I mentioned in the beginning, my aim is just to put forward the point that what happened to me was wrong, and it should not be repeated again in the future. Also, I would like to leave you all with this: The whole incident caused me unpleasantness and temporary annoyance, but who knows, it could have had some serious consequences as well.