A foreign national slapped a Delhi Police officer deployed as part of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s security detail on Friday, after the latter refused to let the woman enter a book release function at the WWF auditorium. Police registered a case against the woman three days later, after a video of the incident went viral.
In the video, the woman is seen arguing with the guard, asserting that she should be allowed to go inside as she had registered for the event. She waits a while and grows furious when she does not receive any response from the guard. She says, “You are going to lose your job; I’m telling you. I’m going to slap you.” She later slaps him in front of other Delhi Police officials. Another person at the spot argues with the lady but she refuses to apologise for the incident, the video shows.
Police believe the woman could be a diplomat attached to an embassy in Delhi.
Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deepak Mishra said a complaint has been received and police are trying to ascertain the woman’s identity. “Police will register an FIR under sections 186 (obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty) of the IPC at Tughlak Road police station of New Delhi district,” a senior police officer said.
Manmohan Singh was on a panel discussion organised at the WWF India auditorium by the Ananta Aspen Centre, for the launch of The Making of Indian Diplomacy – A critique of euro-centrism by Deep K Datta-Ray.
The officer at the receiving end of the woman’s ire was identified as Om Prakash, an assistant sub-inspector posted with the Prime Minister’s security wing of Delhi Police for five years now. “Last Friday, we were asked to go on duty at the WWF auditorium and reached around 2.20 pm. We were briefed that former PM Singh will come at 5 pm, but he came at 4.45 pm. After that, we banned the entry of visitors — including some invited guests — earlier than the timing mentioned,” Prakash said.
He said five people, including some journalists, were stopped after the former PM entered. “After some minutes, a woman came and asked to be let in. I told her I couldn’t let her enter due to security reasons, as several VVIPs were present. She got irritated and started insulting me. I avoided her and refused to respond, which may have annoyed her more. She then slapped me and also abused me in front of five security officials, including two Delhi Police commandos,” Prakash said.
“I wanted to react, but I controlled my anger… A few months ago, a traffic police officer was suspended for reacting in anger and throwing a brick at a woman. Other security officials were also present at the spot, but no one came forward to support me. Later, one of the visitors came and raised his voice. The woman got scared and walked off,” he said.
Incidentally, police failed to register an FIR for more than 72 hours despite Prakash lodging a complaint with the Lodhi Colony police station immediately after the incident. “After the programme, I went to Lodhi Colony police station, informed the duty officer and filed a complaint,” he said.
The video was shot by a Press Trust of India (PTI) photographer, Vijay Verma, who was also stopped by security personnel. “We were trying to convince the officers to let us in. Suddenly, we heard a woman shouting at security personnel. She first clicked his photo and threatened to file a complaint with his seniors. I thought she was going to do something and started to record the incident. She then slapped him in front of other officers, but they did nothing. Just because he is a policeman, it doesn’t give anyone the right to disrespect him,” Verma said.