So, it was yet another day in my life, or so I thought.
I work for an organization in Shivaji Nagar. I live near Dell Office in Inner Ring Road. So, the route I usually take is Shivaji Nagar -> MG Road -> Old Airport Road -> Inner Ring Road -> Home. Yesterday, 31 May 2011, I left office a little late, around 10 pm, not unusual in my profession. I got off the Domlur Flyover and was heading towards Eejipura at a normal speed, about 40kmph. About 100 m ahead past the flyover, a motorcyclist came close to me and asked me to pull over. I glanced at him and thought he needed help. I slowed down and pulled over. He was a police man, no, not a traffic policeman.
PM: Where are you coming from?
Me: Shivaji Nagar (I showed my company ID)
PM: Your vehicle is wanted by police, right?
Me: No, I don't think so.
PM: You are riding a stolen bike, RTO has issued notice for this bike.
Me: No, this is my bike, it was not stolen.
PM: Where are you going? Where is the registration book and license?
Me: I'm heading home. I'm not carrying it but I can get it from my home, it's near by (my bad that I was not carrying the documents).
PM: No, no, it is an offense to ride a bike that is not registered.
Me: Err.. but my bike is registered, I have the documents.
At this point, he got off his bike, parked it at the pavement and told me that he would take my bike to police station. He got a call from his senior, asking him to get a veg biryani. In the meantime, I got thinking. What is he trying to do here? I did not break any rule. Yes, I was not carrying the documents but I can produce the docs and reclaim my bike. My plan to go home and cook chapathi and aalu curry were not going to work out. As soon as he dropped the call, he asked me for my bike's keys. As I handed it over, he asked me to go with him to the police station. Back to conversation mode.
PM: Get on the bike, you are coming to the police station with me.
Me (really annoyed now, that's what a long day does to you): I'm not going anywhere. You can take my bike if you want, I will come with the documents and claim my bike tomorrow. What's your name?
I got my phone out to note the details down.
PM: Mallappa, what will you do? Will you call the commissioner? Who will you call, huh? (he sounded really pissed)
Me (equally pissed): No, I'm just noting the details. Whats your badge number?
PM: OK, write it down. 3479 and I am from HAL police station.
Me: OK, can I see some ID (in "Catch me if you can" style, hehe)
PM: He pulls out his ID and shows me.
I took a snap of it.
The pic is not clear, due to the flash light reflected from the laminated surface. Bad photography.
PM: Take it, you want to take my pic too?
Me: Sure, thank you sir (smile please mallappa :), ok, im just kidding, i didn't say that).
PM: Now, you are coming with me to the police station.
Me: I'm not coming to the police station. I worked more than 12 hours today and I'm going home. You cannot take me to the station. Do you have a warrant? You are not even a traffic policeman. What right do you have to stop me? (I was shouting).
PM: I don't need a warrant. You are a suspect and you are riding a stolen vehicle.
Me: I repeat, my bike is not stolen. You can take it to the station. I will come and get it and pay any fine, if needed.
PM: You can't pay fine, you have done a crime. I will take you to police station.
Me: What crime? I will write about this on internet and newspapers.
PM: You are riding an illegal vehicle (it was no longer stolen, note the point). It is altered like a racing bike. It is illegal.
Me (I was shouting at the top of my voice now): What modification have I done? (the only mod I have done is adding a motocross kind front mud flap).
PM: Where do you stay?
Me: I stay in *******
PM: Are you related to the owner of hotel *******
Me: No, i'm not. I'm not that rich. I told him my landlord's name
PM: Oh, is it? He is my uncle. OK, you go home (smiling and trying to be friendly) and tell uncle that Mallappa stopped you and asked about your bike.
Me: OK fine. Thanks.
PM: Do not ride without registration book. Keep a copy of it. I will come to your house tomorrow morning to verify the docs.
Me: OK sir.
PM: Your vehicle is not stolen right?
PM: OK then.
This took around 5-10 minutes. Passers-by were staring at me and shopkeepers came out to check what was happening.
I was enraged at the way this cop terrorized me. Mind you, I was riding my bike, at a slow pace, when he asked me to pull over. He had a sort of nastiness about him and he was extremely rude, alleging that my bike was stolen and that I was wanted by the RTO.
I am also at fault, for not carrying the documents but hey, I do have the documents safe in my possession.
I'm writing about this to create awareness. This guy probably wanted to scare me and extract money from me. However, as I knew I did not do anything wrong, I put up a fight. I do not know what made him decide that he would let me go. I got home in five minutes and narrated the whole episode to my roommate. If you live in this area, please watch out for this officer. Do not bribe him. Do the right thing.
Yet another day in my life.
The bad cop: Mallappa, 3479, HAL Police Station (as mentioned by him)
Lesson learned: Staying calm helps.