Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, February 29
During the religious violence in the capital, an Uttar Pradesh policeman braved rioting mobs to save families, and is now being hailed as a hero.
The riots in the city broke out on Sunday, killing 42 people and injuring more than 200.
In conversation with BBC, Superintendent of Police, Neeraj Jadaun told that he was patrolling a border checkpoint on February 25, when he heard sounds of gunfire coming from Karawal Nagar in Delhi, which is just 200 meters (650 ft) away from him.
Jadaun noticed a mob of 40-50 people setting vehicles on fire, when one of them jumped into a house with a petrol bomb. That was the time, when Jadaun decided to go against the traditional police protocol and decided to cross the state border into Delhi.
In India, police officers need explicit permission to cross state borders.
"I chose to cross. I was willing to go alone despite being aware of the danger and the fact that it was beyond my jurisdiction. Those were the most terrifying 15 seconds of my life. Thankfully, the team followed me, and my seniors also supported me when I informed them later," he said.
"It was dangerous as we were outnumbered and the rioters were armed. We first tried to negotiate with them and when that failed, we told them that police would open fire. They retreated but seconds later, they threw stones at us, and we also heard gunshots," he added.
However, Jadaun and his team held their positions and kept pushing back until the rioters finally left.
Richi Kumar, a reporter with the Hindi daily Amar Ujala, described Jadaun's decision as the "bravest act" he had ever seen.
"The situation was very dangerous. The rioters were fully armed, and they were not ready to listen anybody. I can describe them as bloodthirsty. They were throwing stones at the police but Mr Jadaun did not back down. There was real danger of policemen being shot at by rioters," he told the BBC.
It was a complete Team effort & all the credit goes to the team. It was a tough situation. We did not let people down. This is for Khakhee, this is for Shaheed Ratan Lal & this is for Constable Dahiya who showed exemplary courage against impossible odds. We r Khakhee. Jai Hind. https://t.co/aRGCxLbQ5s— Neeraj Kumar Jadaun (@NeerajKumarJad1) February 28, 2020
Only if your other IPS colleaagues like the @CPDelhi had shown the same courage 4 days back, Neeraj wouldn't have to take this heroic decision.— Nishant Pant (@nishantpant_in) February 28, 2020
Well done 👍— Frontalfire (@Frontalfire) February 28, 2020
Salutes!🙏🙏— राघव 🇮🇳 (@cpraghav) February 28, 2020
We are proud too. Can we please please provide them better resources and arms to defend themselves. Public safety is commendable but we want our forces safety too.— Sanghi 🇮🇳🇳🇿 (@VideshiKesariya) February 29, 2020
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