Police in Uttar Pradesh have suspended one of their officers for allegedly asking a woman journalist for a hug as a reward for clearing her passport verification process.
Journalist Sweta Goswami had taken to Twitter to share her ordeal narrating how a cop in Ghaziabad, where she lives, had audaciously asked for a hug after completing her passport verification process.
Tagging External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Ghaziabad Police, she wrote, “Safety of an applicant, especially that of a woman,during police verification for passport renewal is a big lacuna. The policeman who came for my verification just a few minutes ago in Ghaziabad made me feel pathetically uncomfortable.
“The experience was so scary that I had to ask my helper to stay back until the man left the house. Clearly, the policeman was intentionally trying to delay the procedure in order to buy more time and look for a chance.”
Goswami, whose Twitter bio describes her as a journalist with The Hindustan Times, added, “The policeman had the audacity to ask for a “hug” after saying “I have done your verification. Now what will you give me?”. The name of the policeman is Devendra Singh.”
Her tweets evoked angry reactions from social media users, many of whom demanded an stern action against the cop in question. One user wrote, “His bad luck he said so to a journalist, think abt unreported ones, a serious issue, atleast this case will be an eg for others nd must be. (sic)” Another user tagged the Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh and wrote, “sir what is happening..please sack the officer immediately.. don’t even put departmental enquiry..it’s clear case of harresment. (sic)”
The Ghiaziabad Police responded with lightening speed and informed that the officer in question had been suspended. Its statement read, “The said officer Devendra Singh has been suspended with immediate effect by the senior officer in-charge of Ghaziaabad Police. An inquiry has also been initiated into the matter.”
— GHAZIABAD POLICE (@ghaziabadpolice) July 12, 2018
Explaining her decision to go public, Goswami later tweeted that ‘apart from complaining to the police personally,’ the reason why she had gone public with her complaint was to make sure that ‘others should be aware.’