Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Encounter with policeman at Inner Ring Road, Bangalore

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.

Me: Hi
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?
Me: No.
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.


Hari said...

Hilarious ...

mudeth said...

Arjun, why don't you register a complaint at that police station? Call the media and see if they're interested in the story - Mirror/BT etc.

Arjun said...

Hi buddy, i don't want to register a complaint because I do not have faith in the whole system. Policemen usually demand money to register a case and it's quite pointless. I will check up with Mirror and BT. A write-up about this will be nice. Thanks for the comment buds.

Sunil Wayanad said...

that cop shud be a beginr or a fool.. he cud ve asked for pollution certificate :)

Tapas said...

U did a good job by fighting... We should not give up in these situations when we know we are not guilty.

Tapas said...

U did a gr8 job buddy... we should not give up in these situations... specially when we know that we are not guilty...

Sony Arouje said...

It's a pathetic move frm that Police guy. Try to contact Mirror and give this link. It's absolutely wrong to scare people like this. If he just asked some docs and fined for that can be understandable but what he did was bull shit.

Saru said...

The cop seems like an idiot, Was he drunk? Complaining wont be of any help, and would in turn mean more running around. These kinds of activities are more common these days. if you were scared and would have started of paying a bribe instead of sending the bike with him, he would have Made his Money for him and the Biryani. Most of the time people get scared and these rascals make money out of Fear of the innocent public.

Saru said...

The policeman seems like an idiot, was he drunk? This is a class act these policeman put to get some money out of fear from the common man. Had you been scared instead of being bold and accepting to send your bike with the policeman, he would have made money for himself and the biryani. People just need to gather some courage and questions these rascals, else it gets too easy for them.

shir said...

brave work arjun..share it to the ndtv.or karnataka channel 9...

gr8msvk said...

A shocking incident I must say. These 'Polite but Firm' police officers are dangerous than gundas.
You did right.

Here @ Trivandrum, once a police constable stopped me for 'One Way violation'. It happened because the traffic SI and this constable(s) has parked their jeep such that it blocked the only passage that would let me cross to the proper lane. Since the path was blocked and the constable moved away for me to take out my scooter from the parking space, I thought he wouldn't mind me going up the one way for 2 metres to reach another gap to the next lane. That bastard whistled and called out all other constables who were hiding here and there. They took me to the SI. (But before that I parked my scooter again and left my helmet there on it).
The SI started to abuse me for my 'age'. I told him that I have had my license for the past 5 years and that means I'm not a teenager anymore. It pissed him off. He asked me to pay 200Rs for one-way violation, 200 for not wearing helmet and 100 for not having pollution certificate.
I was very angry and told him that I had helmet, showed him it and also all the documents.
He then started abusing me again, louder this time, defining my action of producing papers as 'I-am-everything' attitude of youngsters of today (that day to be exact, LOL!).
This time he pissed me off and also some others who were caught be the constables in the meantime. I told him boldly that I am not paying any money now and I'm taking my vehicle with me because I'm hungry and tired from work. I asked him to write me a ticket and I shall pay the fine at the police station within 24 hours (that is exactly what the law insists).
The SI was furious and asked me to handover the key. I stared back at him and asked to give me back my papers and my license as he had no right to keep it with him.
Maybe that hurt his ego (oh it surely did!! LOL again). He started to threaten me. He said he will not let me go without paying money. I said okay we will both stand here till you want. He then told me that at 8 pm he will leave from duty with my scooter.
I promptly I replied that after 8 pm, he is off duty and I will not let him touch my scooter then.
Other people around us started murmuring. They were on my side, with me.
He gave me back my papers and license and then asked me to stand there. I took the papers back. After ignoring me for 20 minutes, he asked me to pay 100Rs for one-way violation and go away.
I was so overcome by anger. I shouted in the loudest voice possible. I told the onlookers to look how he had parked his vehicle so as to block the public road and trick good citizens into paying fine for 'god-knows-what'.
When I get really angry I lose track of voices. All I remember is talking something more in a heated manner (maybe we were both hollering) and finally I made him write a ticket for one-way violation and threw a 100Rs to him. And then I started my scooter and rode all the way up the one-way before going homeward. After all, I did pay for one-way violation, so let me complete it!!! (I now regret paying him).

I lost trust on police since then. I forgot the name of the SI in my anger. :(

(Thanks to that day, I found out how angry and stubborn I can be. I never have acted so violently before or after that incident).

Moral is the same: Know your rights, keep your documents, wear a helmet always, drive but don't drink. :)

Arjun said...

@gr8msvk: that sounds like an interesting incident.. One thing you could have done is checking with the policeman before going up the one-way road. That said, you did well to stand up for what's right. And that's very important. Only a very few do that; most people do not want trouble and pay up to stay away from it. Good work man!! Let that anger out. Hehe.

Rani said...

A biryani could have avoided all these.

Arjun said...

I would have happily paid for a chicken dum biryani. Veg - no way!!