As over the past couple of years, multiple incidents of ‘moral policing’ have been reported across India, inviting flak for the Police force, the bravado by a young Sikh cop to save a Muslim guy made him an instant hero on social media, writes SARRAH

Whether it was the Kolkata metro episode where a couple was beaten up for showing up physical intimacy by “standing close to each other” or when a woman was assaulted in northeast region for accompanying her male friend or handling of sensitive cases of women harassment, the cops have always been caught on the wrong foot. In such a scenario, a young Sikh cop coming to the rescue of a Muslim guy in the company of a Hindu girl friend has earned kudos from all and sundry.

The Sikh cop turned saviour when Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers allegedly beat up two Muslim youths after they spotted them with a Hindu girl. The  incident took place in the premises of the Garjiya temple at Ramnagar town, Uttarakhand. However, matters escalated when some VHP workers shut the main gate of the temple to prevent people from entering. When they were questioned by sub-inspector Gagan Deep, they informed that the couples visiting the area were indulging in unethical behaviour and hurting religious sentiments. To prove their point, they went to the Kosi river where they spotted a Hindu girl with the two Muslim youth and started beating the boys.

However, the Sikh cop soon came to their rescue. He not only stopped the violence but also prevented the workers from attacking the youth. A video of the incident was posted on social media and since then, it has created quite a buzz. In an act of bravery,  a Sikh sub-inspector averted a possible communal flare-up by saving a Muslim youth from the fury of lynching mob near a temple in Ramnagar district of Uttarakhand.

Police said that Sub-Inspector Gagandeep Singh received an alert of a communal build up near Girija Devi temple, some 14-15 km from main Ramnagar city as a Muslim youth who had come to meet his girlfriend in the temple was caught by the local mob which was objecting to his relationship with the girl who was Hindu. The police, later on, called the families of the girl and the man and handed them over to their respective parents. ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar said the incident occurred when a Muslim youth went to meet his girlfriend, a Hindu, at Garjia Devi temple about 15 km from Ramnagar. On being informed about a trouble in the area, Sub-Inspector Gagandeep Singh rushed to the spot where he found a mob preparing to attack the couple. He drew Muslim youth close to him to act as a shield to him, and in the process taking several blows from the mob on himself, the ADG said, adding the mob was dispersed and the couple was taken to a police station from where they were sent back to their families.

Five people whose faces are visible in the clip have been booked and a search is on to nab them. A reward of
2,500 has been announced for Gagandeep Singh for his act of bravery, he said.

The video of the Sikh police officer saving a Muslim man from a possible lynch-mob in Uttarakhand is being shared widely on social media. The video shows the Muslim man surrounded by an angry, shouting crowd, as the police officer keeps him close. When the crowd tries to beat the man, Gagandeep Singh is seen using his body to shield him. The mob is seen getting bolder and trying to hit the man. The clip has drawn numerous reactions on Twitter, with many posts calling the officer a hero.

Former Chairman, Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju wrote: “It was heartening to see on Youtube the videos of a brave young Sikh police officer, Gagandeep Singh, saving the life of a Muslim youth who may have been lynched by a frenzied Hindutva mob had it not been for the courageous intervention of Gagandeep. Sikh cop posted in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand restored faith in humanity after he saved a Muslim man from a mob attack”.

Sikh cop’s “courage” was hailed by the IPS Association as well “We salute the courage, compassion and presence of mind of our young colleague from Uttarakhand Police in saving a man from a lynch mob. SI Gagandeep Singh exemplifies the values that should guide every police officer,” IPS Association said in a tweet.