Three days after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal used the derogatory word “thulla” to describe policemen, the top police officer in neighbouring Ghaziabad has sent a strongly worded message to his forces asking them to “reply by doing good work” as they didn’t have the option of staging a protest.
Dharmender Yadav, SSP Ghaziabad, told The Indian Express that he felt compelled to send the “radio telegram” after local intelligence reported that morale was dipping following Kejriwal’s remark.
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In the radio message, Yadav said, “Recently, the Chief Minister of Delhi used the word “thulla” for the Delhi Police during a television interview. This is a derogatory term, and because our district neighbours Delhi, our forces and officers’ morale has been affected, and this has become an issue of discussion. Being the SSP, I appeal to all of you to continue your work without being affected by these words. The police works in the most difficult conditions in society. Unlike other organisations, we don’t have the means to strike, or stage a dharna.”
The message, dated July 20, added: “Our discipline and morale is necessary, even if we have to bear some insults. It is true that like other departments, there are some within us that cause the department some loss of face. To punish these people is also our collective responsibility. I appeal to treat the insult as a strength and reply by doing good work. Don’t shirk the word thulla, use it in conversation with each other, and this will be our protest. Good policemen should stand proudly with their children and their family.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Yadav said that he sent out the message to rally the policemen in the district. “We got reports that the personnel were feeling low with the insults that they were having to bear, and the usage of thulla had just worsened it. It is absolutely right to punish an erring officer or policeman, but don’t insult the institution. It is the constable who does the toughest job of all, standing in the middle of pollution, or carrying dead bodies. Lets not insult them,” he said.
Kejriwal’s remark had also led to a criminal defamation complaint against him, filed by a constable in southeast Delhi who stated that he was hurt by the derogatory word.