Delhi Police Suspends SHO Who Prevented Hindutva Group from Harassing Maulvi

Date: 11 August 2021

Delhi Police suspended the station house officer (SHO) of Adarsh Nagar police station, C. P. Bhardwaj,  a week after he prevented a group of Hindutva activists from harassing a maulvi of a mazar on a flyover in Delhi. A video of the incident was widely viewed and commented about on social media.

Though Delhi Police claimed that Bharadwaj was suspended for ‘dereliction of duty’ and that there were a number of ‘complaints’ against him, the suspension order was seen as linked to the viral video in which the officer is seen confronting the activists who appear exercised about the ‘unauthorised’ shrine.

In the video, the SHO sternly tells the Hindutva group members even as they continue filming not to confront the maulvi. Any complaints about unauthorised religious structures, SHO Bharadwaj tells them,   can be made by approaching the appropriate committee of the Delhi government and not by creating a scene in public.

The viral video which many believe is the real reason for the SHO’s suspension shows two activists confronting a maulvi near a mazar on a flyover, while another captures the incident on camera. In the video, one of them, wearing spectacles and a saffron cloth around his neck, is seen questioning the ‘maulvi’, who is wearing a green cap, while another holds the microphone and asks an occasional question.

As the youth with the saffron scarf asks the maulvi, “how many such mazars of yours are running like this”, the video shows the SHO of Adarsh Nagar stepping in. The officer immediately identifies himself as SHO Adarsh Nagar and asks the youth with the saffron scarf, who is apparently conducting the ‘interview’, “Who has given you the right that you put a citizen of India under such duress”.