The Mukherjee Nagar incident, which took place on Sunday, has caused much outrage on social media regarding the supposed high-handedness of Delhi Police. In the videos which went viral, a Sikh tempo driver is seen arguing with a Delhi Police personnel. While the officer is seen calmly talking on his phone, the driver is seen brandishing his oversized kirpan and threatening the officer, but the media have taken it upon themselves to communalise the scuffle, making Sarabjeet look like a victim of police brutality only for being a Sikh and ridiculous as it may seem, it has found many takers on social media.
अब जरा इस विडियो के आगे का हिस्सा देखिये। पुलिसवालों ने जब टेम्पो चालक को पकड़ा तो उसका नाबालिग बेटा टेम्पो के पास गया और टेम्पो चलाकर पुलिसकर्मियों को टक्कर मारी। जिसके बाद पुलिसवालों ने टेम्पो चालक के बेटे को पीटा। pic.twitter.com/QqSpRPwm42
— Jitender Sharma (@capt_ivane) June 17, 2019
Leaving no stone unturned to paint the Sikh tempo driver as a victim, the media conveniently overlooked the fact that Sarabjeet Singh, the auto driver, has been booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for physical violence and disturbing peace on multiple occasions in the past, the most recent one being just 2 months ago.
On April 3, an FIR was registered against Sarabjeet by Mangal Singh, a sewadar in Bangla Sahib Gurudwara under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC. The sections relate to causing hurt, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation. According to the FIR, the accused had caused grievous injuries to Mangal, as he had started a fight without any provocation. Sarabjeet and his son had been staying in the Gurudwara for three days and depended on the langar for food. When spotted by the authorities and asked to come to the office, Sarabjeet twisted Mangal’s arm and pushed him to the ground and attacked him. After being restrained by the Sewadars, Sarabjeet continued hurling abuses. In light of this incident, he had been jailed for a few days.
This incident in the Gurudwara wasn’t the first occurrence. In 2011, Sarabjeet had gotten into a verbal spat with sewadars at Bangla Sahib, for which an FIR was registered against him in the Burari police station. In 2006 he was booked under the CRPC sections related to apprehension of breach of peace and arrest to prevent a cognizable offense at Burari after he had threatened a few neighbours during a petty fight. A similar case was also registered against him in 2013 when he got into a brawl with a group of people at the Gurudwara near Majnu Ka Tila.
Sarabjeet’s violent instincts are clearly visible in this incident as he is seen in a video saying, “Haath laga ke dikhao”, while brandishing his sword. Before this, he had shouted, “Aaj dekhoge Sardar kya hota hai”, at the officer. 8 policemen have been injured in this incident.
His neighbours said that people keep a distance from the family due to Singh’s violent tendencies. A woman who stays close to Singh stated, “Since he has started staying with his father here at Gandhi Nagar, he had got into verbal spats with many over petty issues such as parking and festive celebrations. We avoid interacting with the family.”
Thus, it is clear that the neighbours are terrified of Sarabjeet Singh’s violent outbursts and are living in constant fear due to his criminal acts. However, the entire population of Delhi; including the CM Arvind Kejriwal, has come out claiming “police brutality” and have even suspended three officers involved in the case. A dangerous person with criminal tendencies such as Sarabjeet Singh needs to be firmly dealt with by the law, for the safety of citizens. Instead of following the due process of law, the situation has unfortunately morphed into a communal issue, turning a serial offender into a victim.