Uttar Pradesh is Really Paatal Lok. A Cop Masturbates in Front of Women Complainants

Social Commentary

Uttar Pradesh is Really Paatal Lok. A Cop Masturbates in Front of Women Complainants

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

For the latest entry on the “Why It Sucks to Be a Woman in India” list, we have the crude and disgusting act of a police officer in Uttar Pradesh masturbating on the job in the presence of two women. At Bhatni Police Station in Deoria, UP, Station House Officer (SHO) Bhishma Pal Singh was filmed inappropriately touching himself while sitting with two women complainants. The women, a mother and daughter duo, had gone to the station over a land dispute with their relatives, when the cop began masturbating while seated opposite them in his private office.

The mother and daughter made three visits to the police station. On the third visit, taking place on 22 June, the daughter decided to film Singh’s behaviour to share with his superiors. After she shared the video with senior police officials, Singh was suspended on June 26. As outrage grew over his actions, an FIR was lodged against him on June 30.

This morning, a report in Hindustan Times claimed that Singh had gone missing after his suspension. Singh was ordered to surrender to police after the FIR was filed, but has been absconding since then. Deoria’s Superintendent of Police (SP), Shri Pati Mishra also announced a reward of ₹25,000 for people who help in finding the missing officer.

Meanwhile, the video was also brought to the attention of the National Commission for Women. The body’s chairperson, Rekha Sharma, also wrote to the UP’s Director General of Police seeking action in the matter.

This incident of a Uttar Pradesh cop masturbating in front of women is another example of the gross entitlement that exists among some members of the Indian Police. At a time when the national media, activists, and influencers are all up in arms against police brutality after the custodial killings of shop owners Jayarax and Bennicks is Tamil Nadu, actions of officers like UP’s SHO Singh aren’t doing the police’s image any favours. They are supposed to be upholders of the law, not consider themselves above it.