In a recent incident during the Diwali festivities in Guwahati, a seemingly routine traffic stop escalated into a chaotic scene atop the Shraddhanjali Flyover in Zoo Road. The focus shifted from the initial violation of riding a motorcycle without a helmet to a spectacle, as an inebriated woman vehemently resisted police intervention.
The situation took an unexpected turn when one police officer recorded the incident, which later went viral, leading to consequences for the officer involved.
On Sunday night (November 12), amidst the Diwali celebrations, traffic police stopped the intoxicated woman for riding without a helmet atop the Shraddhanjali flyover. Instead of a cooperative response, the officers faced defiance, unruly behavior, and claims of being the spouse of a fellow police officer. The incident culminated with the woman's motorcycle being seized and the potential revocation of her driving license.
However, the incident took an unusual turn when the confronting police officer, identified as Raju Kairi, recorded a video of the inebriated woman rather than taking her into custody. This decision has now resulted in Kairi being reserve closed and summoned to appear before the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) amid allegations of neglecting his duty.
Beyond the uniform, it's a reminder that police officers are humans navigating complex situations. However, it also raises questions about the balance between enforcing the law and the potential pitfalls of creating spectacles out of such situations.
Ofcourse, enforcing traffic regulations is paramount, but it is also equally crucial for the police to exercise discretion and professionalism as well.
There are duties beyond the enforcement of laws for our police officers – such as public safety, maintaining order, and fostering a sense of security in the community. In this case, the focus shifted from addressing the violation to the creation of a viral video, potentially compromising their professionalism.
Certainly, there may be merits in recording such incidents, for evidence and accountability purposes, but the priority should have been the immediate enforcement of the law.
The woman surely crossed her limits and is now paying the price for her antics that night, potentially dealing with a compromised reputation in her community. It was a vulnerable moment for her, marked by an unacceptable reaction - a fallout and a grand social media spectacle for the netizens to nibble on.
But in the grand scheme of things, the incident may call for an emphasis on a human touch in policing - reminding officers that their duty to maintain public order should never be overshadowed by the desire for social media traction, or publicity, or a promotion so to speak.
Moreover, such scenarios are not exclusive to females as males have been equally susceptible to the consequences, far more in several instances earlier. Let this be a cautionary tale, for the media as well - we are equally responsible.
Now, while technology can be a valuable ally, the incident evidently serves as a vivid reminder that the soul of policing (and media intervention) lies in the human element.
There is a complex dance between responsibility and spectacle, and its important to keep the spotlight on public safety, and ensuring that the use of technology complements these objectives rather than detracting from them.