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As students’ protests turn violent, Nagpur Police Commissioner’s meme message wins internet

Taking to Twitter, Commissioner of Police for Nagpur City, Amitesh Kumar, shared a popular Drake meme to guide students, who are demanding the board exams be cancelled.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 1, 2022 2:05:24 pm
Netizens appreciated how he reacted to the protests.

Amid the ongoing third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, students in parts of Maharashtra took to the streets to protest against offline board exams for Class 10 and 12. After the peaceful demonstrations turned violent, Nagpur Police Commissioner used a hit meme to put his message across to Gen Z.

Things went awry in Mumbai and Nagpur as some students damaged private and police vehicles, pelted stones and blocked roads. Taking to Twitter, Commissioner of Police for Nagpur City, Amitesh Kumar, shared a popular Drake meme to guide students, who are demanding the board exams be cancelled.

As the meme is often used to juxtapose two contrasting ideas—one where Drake holds his hands as a sign of disapproval and is seen in a delighted mood in another—Kumar used the popular snapshot often referred to as ‘Drakeposting’ to urge students to protest in a civilised manner.

In the meme inspired by the Canadian hip-hop artiste’s 2015 hit single Hotline Bling, where the top part is used typically to express disdain, the senior officer used a photo of a damaged bus. “Offence against you, harmful for your future career,” he added his caption.

In the second bit, the text used by Kumar read: “Yes you have the right to protest, but in lawful parameters only”.

As students resorted to violence, the police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse them. The call for the protest was given by social media influencer Vikas Fhatak, alias Hindustani Bhau, who allegedly makes abusive videos on social media.

Fhatak uploaded a video on his fan page account on Instagram, asking students to come out and “peacefully protest” outside the residence of state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Monday against the government’s decision.

“An FIR is being registered against him and others for rioting, unlawful assembly, damage to public property and obstructing public servants from discharging duties,” an officer from Dharavi police station said.

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Kumar also issued a statement saying they have “full sympathy” for young students but the police had to register cases and that they are identifying violators through CCTV footage. The officer said he believed “some vested interest are again provoking students” to take to the streets and urged parents not to “expose their children to any illegality”.

As the senior officer’s post started to gain attention online, many lauded him for patiently explaining the situation to the students and not dismissing their concerns.

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First published on: 01-02-2022 at 02:01:54 pm

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