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Former J&K cop mocks fact-checkers

Now donkeys will participate in a race for horses, remarks S.P. Vaid on reports of Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha being considered for Nobel Peace Prize

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 07.10.22, 01:21 AM
Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair.

Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair. File pictures

A former Jammu and Kashmir police chief has mocked fact-checkers Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha after unofficial reports claimed they were among the favourites for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, his comment prompting comparisons with BJP trolls.

S.P. Vaid, who was director-general of police from 2016 to 2018, has since his retirement in 2019 been openly and stridently voicing support for the Narendra Modi government’s policies.


“Noble Peace Prize,” Vaid tweeted on Thursday, with a laughing emoji and a meme that said: “Ab ghodo ki race mein gadhe bhi daudenge (Now donkeys will participate in a race for horses).”

His remarks drew outrage. “Unfortunate that such a senior IPS officer who has held responsible posts has been reduced to an IT cell troll,” journalist Rohini Singh tweeted.

“Why don’t you try gardening or pottery or basket weaving, sir, if you find it hard to pass time post-retirement. Those are dignified hobbies.”

Vaid hit back, tweeting: “Thanks for the suggestions. I prefer meming. It’s more fun.”

He posted a meme that said: “Arre kaun bhawk raha hain ye badtameez (Hey, who is barking — such insolence).”

Zubair, a co-founder of fact-checking website AltNews along with Sinha, had been arrested in June, days after calling out a comment on the Prophet by a then BJP spokesperson that caused an international uproar. He was implicated in multiple cases over old and recent tweets that allegedly insulted Lord Hanuman and Hindu religious leaders. The Supreme Court granted him bail on July 20.

Vaid had supported Zubair’s arrest, tweeting: “Delhi police arrested AltNews co-founder, journalist and fake news peddler Zubair.”

He had added: “It’s time for these foreign-funded fake propaganda peddlers to be proceeded under law. Don’t we all know which pseudo-journalist should be next in line?”

Vaid, a 1986-batch IPS officer from Jammu, had served as DGP at a time Kashmir was aflame over the security forces’ July 2016 killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.

“During his tenure, he was friendly with Kashmiri politicians,” a former IPS officer who had worked closely with Vaid said.

“He seems to have opened up (after retirement), particularly after the 2019 scrapping of (certain provisions of) Article 370, and now openly supports the BJP on many issues.”

During his tenure as DGP, Vaid had been criticised for habitually congratulating policemen with “Well done, boys” after every militant killing.

He was removed unceremoniously as DGP in 2018 by the Satya Pal Malik administration after an abduction fiasco left the government embarrassed.

Militants had kidnapped nearly a dozen relatives of policemen in retaliation to arrests of their relatives by the police, forcing the administration to buy peace with them by quietly releasing the rebels’ family members.

Vaid had, however, denied that the controversy had led to his removal, arguing transfers were a “routine matter and prerogative of the government”.

In 2017, Vaid had publicly threatened to target the families of militants, telling them “not to forget that”.

Last month, Vaid joined a group of retired police officers to write to President Droupadi Murmu against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s “distasteful and inconsiderate” remarks against Gujarat police. The Aam Aadmi Party had hit back, alleging the BJP was behind the letter.

Kejriwal had alleged that Ahmedabad police had stopped him from visiting the home of an auto-rickshaw driver who had invited him to dinner. He eventually managed to keep the appointment.

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