A probationary officer of the Rajasthan Police courted controversy with his remarks on Twitter over a tweet by former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) vice-president Shehla Rashid.
Sharing a report by The Indian Express about detention camps in Assam for illegal foreigners on October 21, Rashid had written “India’s concentration camps!” on Twitter.
Sandeep Saraswat, a Deputy Superintendent of Police at the police lines in Jaipur police commissionerate, on Tuesday replied to Rashid’s tweet. “Had the regime constructed concentration camp, person like Shehla would have been the first to be lodged into that camp and she won’t have been able to spread venom on Twitter,” wrote Saraswat.
Many Twitter users, including Rashid, criticised Saraswat for his comments, often tagging the official handle of the Rajasthan Police. Some even cited Saraswat’s remark to blame the state police for increasing cases of cow-related violence.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Saraswat (30) said that his comments were misinterpreted and he was only “defending” the state he serves.
“My tweet was taken out of context and misinterpreted. I never meant that Shehla Rashid should be sent to concentration camps. I wanted to say that concentration camps were terrible places where Nazi Germany imprisoned dissenters and Jews. Rashid was wrong to suggest that such is the situation in India,” said Saraswat.
He said he has deactivated his Twitter account as the comments “disrupted” his mental peace. “I felt that as an employee of the state, it’s my duty to defend it. By suggesting that there are concentration camps somewhere in India, she implied that there is no rule of law in the country, which is wrong as I serve that law and order system,” he said.
Tejaswani Gautam, Jaipur commissionerate DCP (headquarters), said, “It is not in violation of the model code of conduct of police because it is not an official account and thus what he writes there is not in his official capacity of a government servant.”