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Circular to UP cops in run-up to Dabangg 2

- List of dos & don’ts

Lucknow, Dec. 4: Someone is running scared of Dabangg 2, and it’s not any of the other Khans worried about Salman breaking box-office records again with the sequel to his 2010 blockbuster this Christmas.

Uttar Pradesh police chief Ambrish Chandra Sharma last week issued a directive asking policemen across the state to improve their behaviour while dealing with the public and not be highhanded.

“The concerned officers at a police station need to play by the book, registering each case and then addressing the grievances within a specific time,” said the circular, sent to all district police chiefs, range DIGs and ADGs as well as station house officers (SHOs).

All visitors to a police station should be given a proper place to sit and offered drinking water, the SHOs and the circle officers were asked to ensure.

Not out of place in a state where 227 policemen are serving time in jail, a sizeable number of them for fake encounters and one of them on death row, according to a reply prison minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya gave in the Assembly last week.

But it seems to be more than a coincidence that the circular has come weeks ahead of the release of Dabangg 2, which is set in Kanpur and revolves around a high-handed cop played by Salman Khan.

A similar circular asking policemen to behave was issued two years ago, soon after the release of Dabangg that reinforced the stereotype of the indisciplined Uttar Pradesh cop. Chulbul Pandey, the cop played by Salman who believed he was the law, embarrassed the police brass but appeared to leave the errant policemen chuffed.

“The policemen must try to improve the image of the police and win the faith of the people without which it is difficult to maintain peace in the area particularly during clashes between two communities,” the police chief said.

The image has taken a beating after the five riots that erupted since Akhilesh Yadav took over as chief minister. Given the deteriorating law and order, the BSP has dubbed the state “Crime Pradesh”.

Dabangg 2 was shot in parts of Kanpur Road, Sadar Road and Mirza Mandi in Kanpur early this year as well as some neighbourhoods in Lucknow but attracted unmanageable crowds. Most of the shooting was then done on set in Mumbai. The film is due for release on December 21.