Checking vehicle documents is the duty of the police. They need to ensure people have all the documents and are following the rules. While this is acceptable, where do we draw the line for duty and harassment? In most cases, people get so scared that they try to come to a settlement with the police and flee from the situation without getting their hands dirty. But very few of them take the risk of asking them the right questions.
In one such case, Partha P Boruah, a man from Gauhati, Assam, was stopped by the police on 14 February while he was riding his two-wheeler. The police asked him to park his motorcycle on the side of the road and enquired for his driving licence and vehicle registration papers. Everything went smoothly until Partha questioned the khaki policemen about their credentials. He asked why regular policemen were checking for the documents when it is generally traffic police. What Parth didn’t know is that they were checking for stolen vehicles.
But instead of explaining this, the moment he asked the question, they snatched his bike key. Even after pleading, Partha didn’t get it back from them.
This is when Partha decided to go LIVE on Facebook and where he recorded the entire incident.
The video shows the policemen refusing to give answers to Partha when he was asking for the key. They told him that they won’t return it. The most surprising element is that the patrolling vehicle of the policemen also didn’t have any number plate on it.
According to the law, no policeman has the authority to take out the key of any two or four wheelers, yet they did so. Also, the rule says only an officer of rank higher than Head Constable in Traffic Police has the power to stop commuters and interrogate them.
Agitated by the whole incident, Partha used offensive language and verbally abused the policemen. He was later booked, taken to CJM Court and charged under IPC 294 and IPC 353 for using offensive words in public and assault and deter public servant from discharge of his duty.
Partha is now under police custody for the next two weeks.
The Logical Indian contacted Geetanagar Police Station in Gauhati. The IC told us, “We were conducting patrolling to have a check on stolen vehicles, that’s why we asked Partha to show us his DL and vehicle papers. It is then he started shouting and abusing us, calling for senior authorities.”
There is no doubt that Partha was upset and used offensive words, but he was triggered by the action of the policemen who did not give him any explanation even after verifying his papers. We urge the government to conduct a fair probe in this matter.
Update: We contacted Geetanagar Police Station on Monday morning and the IC informed that Partha was given bail on Saturday.