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Gujarat: Policewoman who took on minister’s son seeks to resign; gets protection

Claiming that she was “under pressure”, Yadav told The Indian Express that she sought to resign from the police force and conveyed her intention to the higher-ups, adding that she wanted to prepare to become an IPS officer and return to the force.

Written by Kamal Saiyed | Surat | Updated: July 15, 2020 10:07:56 am
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Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) jawan Sunita Yadav who took on son of a minister for violating curfew announced her decision to resign from the police force and claimed threat to her life, following which she was given police protection, even as a former leader of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) given a complaint to Varachha police against her stating he was “victim to her abusive behaviour”.

The Surat city police provided protection to Yadav who said she faced threat to life after she took on the son of Minister of State for Health, Kishore Kanani, for violating curfew. Claiming that she was “under pressure”, Yadav told The Indian Express that she sought to resign from the police force and conveyed her intention to the higher-ups, adding that she wanted to prepare to become an IPS officer and return to the force.

Yadav took to the social media on Tuesday saying that she would speak out after she gave her resignation. “Whatever came out on media so far is just 10 per cent, I have 90 per cent stuff and I will put it before the public once I give my resignation… I am ready to face the consequences… even if I die in this battle, I will have no regrets. I have support from my colleagues as well as superior officers,” said Yadav.

Yadav is an LRD jawan, a temporary police post with a fixed salary. In a social media post, Yadav said she was unwell and was unable to speak for long. She is also seen holding her head and taking sips of water.

“My fight is not for Sunita Yadav, my fight is for the khaki uniform. I have received couple of threats on phone in which the caller told me ‘You have been doing a lot for your country, I don’t think you will live long’. They also offered Rs 50 lakh, to ‘sort out’ the issue. I received the call three days ago, following which I approached the Surat police commissioner seeking police protection. The call seems to be from outside Gujarat,” Yadav told The Indian Express.

For the past three days, two women armed police constables have been deployed at her house and two male police constables at the main gate of her apartment. “Even when I am on the roads, along with media persons, some private people follow me,” she said.

The incident happened on July 8 when Yadav was on patrol duty and stopped five youths who were travelling in a car without wearing masks during curfew hours. One of the youths called up minister’s son, Prakash, who reached the spot. In the video, when asked why he stepped out during curfew hours, the man claiming to be Kanani’s son, is heard telling Yadav that he came “to help his friend”. The video of the incident where Yadav is seen arguing with Prakash was widely shared on social media.

On July 11, Prakash and two of his friends — Deepak Godhani and Sanjay Kakadia — were arrested for violating the curfew and released on bail.

Meanwhile, the inquiry into the July 8 episode involving Kanani’s son Prakash and Yadav, which was with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) A division CK Patel, who was also Yadav’s supervisory officer, was handed over to ACP F Division J K Pandya, by police commissioner RB Brahmbhatt.

On Tuesday, Surat unit former president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Rajubhai Godhani, gave an application at the Varachha police station, where Yadav was attached before she was transferred to police headquarters, alleging that he was witness to her using “abusive language” and making people to sit-ups on the road during patrol duty. Godhani also alleged that on July 5, Yadav stopped him during the day for not wearing a mask properly while driving car, and demanded that she be suspended from the job.

In his complaint against Yadav, NCP leader Godhani who is a resident of Matawadi chowk in Varachha, said, “The cop told me to come out of the car… As I had not put the mask properly, she scolded me in front of the public. Some people who knew me came and asked what happened. They also told me about her abusive behaviour. She questioned why I was out during lockdown. It was around 10 am and when I told her that I was distributing food and mask to the people, she insulted me in front of others and used abusive language… I called up two other women sub-inspectors and sought their help.”

“She asked me to stand aside and I saw her stopping other people, making them do sit-ups and use abusive language. I identified her as Sunita Yadav from her nameplate. Other policemen posted with her were recording video of the incident. After sometime, I told her to forgive me and later she allowed me to go,” Godhani added.

Talking to the Indian Express, Godhani said, “I have seen her attitude and the language she uses. She is harassing innocent people travelling on the road.”

Assistant Commissioner of police, A division, CK Patel said, “Sunita is working in armed police unit and was carrying out her duties at police headquarters. For police bandobast, we sought some cops from the headquarters and she was among them. We are probing the complaint against her and will call her to record her statements in the coming days. After that we will decide on further action.”

Meanwhile, Yadav found support from former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who tweeted on Tuesday that the Gujarat government should “felicitate” her. Yadav said that he stood by diligent officers like Sunita, and that “the respect for the police goes up by officers like her who stand by truth”.

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