| Chief minister Nitish Kumar meets visitors to his janata durbar in Patna on Monday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Let out your anger over phone and soothe your nerves.
Probably that’s the mantra Tirhut zone inspector-general of police Gupteshwar Pandey adopted to calm complainants who were turning up at the chief minister’s janata durbar at his 1 Aney Marg residence on Monday.
The procedure is simple. If you have a complaint against a police officer, inform that to Pandey, who would thereafter make a call to the officer concerned. It does not stop here. Pandey will then pass his cellphone on to you to have a direct talk with the officer.
However, his trick resulted into a dramatic scene at the janata durbar with 67-year-old Prabha Devi of Motihari abusing East Champaran SP Ganesh Kumar for almost 15 minutes.
After connecting his cellphone to Kumar, Pandey said: “Mataji ghanti baja raha hai, aap baith jayeye (Phone is ringing, you kindly take a seat). A woman has come to the chief minister’s janata durbar and she is telling me that you do not have time to speak to her. Now, I am handing over the phone to the woman and I want you to speak to her until she is not satisfied with your response.”
Pandey then gave the phone to Prabha Devi to share her complaint with SP Kumar. Prabha sarcastically asked Kumar: “Ka ho SP saheb, line pe aa gayane. (Now how you are on the line). Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself? I have been trying to contact you for many days but you never come on line. When I have visited the chief minister’s janata durbar, you are speaking like a parrot over the phone. Couldn’t you do the same when I was in the district? You people never listen to until you are scolded by your seniors.”
She kept on yelling at Kumar while Pandey was quietly listening to her conversation with the superintendent of police over the alleged high-handedness towards her son.
A criminal case was filed at Charu Danav police station in Motihari against Prabha Devi’s son.
About practices like handing over the cellphone to the complainant, Pandey, known for his versatility in solving problems, said: “I could have easily spoken to SP Kumar and guided him. But that would not have been enough to calm her anger. So, it was important for me to let her anger come out. It would satisfy her.”
He added: “Sometimes, such things are necessary. It is true the SP will not listen to her when she actually visits his office. So I just helped the woman convey her message to the person concerned.”
The strategy came from an officer who wanted to enter politics while he was inspector-general of police (security) and sought voluntary retirement from service to fight the 2009 general elections on BJP ticket from Buxar parliamentary constituency.
However, he did not get the ticket and he was reinstated after nine months of taking VRS.