IPS officer Charu Nigam, who was publicly berated by BJP MLA from Gorakhpur Sadar Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, removed all her Facebook posts related to the incident on Wednesday.
While Agarwal and his supporters attacked Nigam, working and retired IPS officers rallied behind her. They said the woman IPS officers might have violated the service rules but she was left with no other option but to take to social media to clarify her stand.
“No doubt airing views on social media was against service rules but what were the options before her (Nigam) to challenge false charges? Police officers are being attacked and humiliated but no action is taken against the culprits,” former DGP Sri Ram Arun told HT.
“The BJP MLA not only humiliated the IPS officer publicly but also levelled false charges against her. The MLA tried to muzzle the voice of the officer who was trying to control an unruly mob. When the MLA reached the spot she tried to clarify police action but he humiliated her. She had no other option but to take to social media to make her stand clear,” he said.
Arun said the officers of the all-India services as well as other cadres were using social media to reach out to the people.
“Government departments and people’s representatives are also active on social media these days. Rather than taking action against the officer, the government should inquire into the merit of the case and take appropriate action,” he said.
IG, rules and manuals, Amitabh Thakur, who is also quite active on the social media, said: “Service rules restrict an officer from criticising government’s policies. Nigam has not criticised the government policy but has expressed her views on an incident. I have challenged the sections of the service rules in the Allahabad high court. I believe the rules are archaic. I have urged the court to grant permission to the officers to express views on government policies as well. The case is pending with the court,” he said.
A member of the IPS officers’ association said the body had already taken up the matter with the chief secretary and demanded action against those who not only humiliated the IPS officer but also stopped her from discharging duties.
“The video of the MLA humiliating an IPS officer went viral on media and people came to know about her stand through Facebook post. An FIR has been lodged and the police will take action against the culprits,” he said.
Former IPS officer SR Darapuri, who has launched a political party All India People’s Front, said, “Around half-a-dozen cases of attacks on police officers have been reported in the state but no action has been taken against the culprits. In Saharanpur, the supporters of BJP MP vandalised the house of the SSP. Instead of taking action against the MP, the state government transferred the SSP. The social media is the only medium where officers can put forth their opinions rather than bearing the humiliation in silence,” he said.
Meanwhile, the MLA and his supporters accused Nigam of violating service rules by expressing her views on the social media and demanded action against her.
“I will raise the issue on the floor of the legislative assembly and demand action against Nigam as well as senior police officers in Gorakhpur,” Agarwal said.
“She tried to demean the image of an elected representative by taking to social media to counter charges against her. Instead of using a public platform, she should have informed the SSP or sent a report to the state police department”, said Vikas Pandey, a BJP leader in Gorakhpur.
“The Gorakhpur unit of the BJP will demand action against Nigam,” he added.