While the nation is gripped in a fever of outrage fueled by bias, it is important, more than ever, that our law enforcement agencies remain neutral. With the video of some UP cops assaulting a woman for allegedly being in a relationship with a Muslim man doing the rounds of social media, this need has been reiterated once again. To watch cops turn vigilantes and let personal biases cloud their sense of duty certainly doesn’t make us feel safe.

According to The Indian Express, these policemen had been sent to rescue this woman and her friend from a mob of attackers which included members of the VHP in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. The now viral video shows these cops escorting her in a police vehicle after rescuing her from the angry mob. But then they begin to shame her for being with a Muslim man, and then the female constable goes on to assault her not once, but multiple times.

Interfaith couples are the easiest targets to pick on for the self-righteous moral brigade in our society.

Those who have done something which is morally unacceptable to a majority are the ones who face oppression and violence the most. It is the duty of policemen to make sure that men and women do not face the wrath for merely falling in love. They must protect their rights as consenting adults and individuals. The last thing couples in this country need is more moral policing than they already have endured. That too from people whose job is to ensure their safety.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • A video of some UP cops assaulting a woman for allegedly being in a relationship with a Muslim man is being massively shared on social media.
  • Moral policing isn’t part of the job profile for cops in our country, hence they need to keep their personal biases at bay when they are in uniform.
  • What we need is sensitivity training and repeated reminders to those in law enforcement services that they are not to turn vigilantes themselves.

It easy is to catch this infection of toxic hatred in today’s vile atmosphere. Cops are humans too, with all that they see in their professional lives, they are very prone to forming personal views and harbouring biases. But then it is the duty of superiors in such fields to ensure that cops do not let personal stands intervene with professional duties. They should certainly not have hit her, moreover there is no case or FIR filed against her.

Is love a crime so big in our country today, that cops are willing to take the law into their own hands?

Where do citizens go from here then? Whom do they turn to, when they face violence and oppression? Four police personnel involved in this incident have been suspended. But is that enough? If we go on suspending them for unlawful conduct, we will be only left with lesser people in the force and that is not the solution.

What they need is sensitivity training and repeated reminders that they are not to turn vigilantes themselves. They must always maintain the honour and dignity of the uniform they wear. Because we will need our cops to protect people from vigilante justice, and not be a part of the crowd out for their blood.

Picture Credit: Hindustan Times

Also Read : The Debate Around Love Jihad is Inconsiderate Towards Women

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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