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Herself on TikTok, Gujarat officer says woman cop suspended not for dance but over uniform

Defending her own video, Vanzara said she has every right to be on social media, as a “young police officer”. While Chaudhary could not be contacted, in an interview to local news channels she has said that she was “punished for the wrong” she did.

Written by Vaibhav Jha , Aishwarya Mohanty | Ahmedabad, Vadodara |
Updated: July 29, 2019 7:39:20 am
Tik Tok, Tik Tok India, Manjita Vanzara, IPS officer DG vanzara, Tik Tok Police video, gujarat ips officer suspended, Gujarat Police, Gujarat News, Indian Express Videograbs from the TikTok videos of IPS officer Manjita Vanzara and suspended Constable Alpita Chaudhary. (Screengrab)

Two days after a police constable, Alpita Chaudhary, 24, was suspended when videos of her dancing and singing, shot inside a police station for video-sharing app TikTok, went viral on Wednesday, videos of the officer probing her case — Manjita Vanzara — surfaced on the same app on Friday.

Vanzara, 30, former IPS officer D G Vanzara’s niece, said the constable was suspended not because of the video but since she was “not wearing uniform during duty hours”.

Defending her own video, Vanzara said she has every right to be on social media, as a “young police officer”. While Chaudhary could not be contacted, in an interview to local news channels she has said that she was “punished for the wrong” she did.

Police chiefs of both Ahmedabad and Vadodara said police personnel in uniform should not be engaged in any act that harms the force’s image. Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh said, “We are looking at the individual cases. We will scrutinise whether they pass the litmus test of conduct and discipline rules.”

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Commissioner of Police, Vadodara city, Anupamsinh Gahlaut said, “Shooting a video on a song while dressed in uniform doesn’t give a proper impression (of the force).”

Chaudhary, a Lok Rakshak Dal constable, has been suspended and Vadodara sub-inspector Arun Mishra has been moved out of Detection of Crime Branch to the traffic branch for posting a song video dressed in his uniform inside a police station. On Thursday, videos of Sangeeta Parmar, 44, a constable posted at Mahila Police Station in Ahmedabad, went viral — in her police uniform, she is seen cracking one-liners in a “duet” with another Tiktok user.

Duet is the unofficial term of TikTok users in which two videos of different users are merged to get the “ultimate” video. One of Chaudhary’s videos shows her dancing to a Bollywood song inside Langhnaj police station, in the backdrop of a lockup. In another video, she appears to talk to people as a policewoman even as a song plays in the background.

Vanzara, 30, who conducted an inquiry into the episode, said, “She (Chaudhary) was doing an eight-hour shift. Suppose she is on duty for eight hours, she is not allowed excess use of mobile but only when necessary. Suppose she is on bandobast duty, she cannot get distracted.” “She has been suspended for this reason, not for using TikTok,” she reiterated.

Also read | Mumbai police oppose anticipatory bail to 3 accused in Jharkhand lynching video on Tik Tok

Vanzara said her own video was shot from her friend’s account “a year ago”. She also said she is a “young, new-generation police officer who uses every app, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok”. Vanzara said: “We will not be able to crack crime on social media if we are not present on it.”

Chaudhary told the local channel that she has been on TikTok for the last six months; that singing and dancing are her interests, besides storytelling and making motivational videos. “I had 10,000 followers but after this episode I have 16,700 followers, half of whom support me. The other half (of followers) make fun of me,” she told the channel.

Parmar, a policewoman for 23 years who has over 11,000 followers on TikTok, said she has never posted anything that might affect the honour of her job. “I know how to handle social media…this is my hobby, but many followers wanted to meet me. I told them this doesn’t suit a police staffer, so they asked me to shoot a duet. I recorded a video in my house, which went viral,” she said.

Vadodara policeman Arun Mishra, whose TikTok video lip-syncing a song went viral, leading to an inquiry and his transfer, claimed that the video concerned was shot a year ago after duty hours. “I don’t know how it went viral now. Someone has purposely done it to spoil my image,” he said.

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