Haryan Police Chief has landed in a controversy by saying that people have the right to “take the life” of those they see harassing a woman or trying to burn property.
KP Singh, the state’s new Director General of Police, said at a public event in Chandigarh on Thursday that many don’t realise they can take action when they witness any offence.
“If someone insults a woman or tries to kill a person, then the law empowers a common man to kill that person. This is not just the powers vested in the police, if someone is insulting any mother and sister, if somebody tries to immolate a house or shop, or if someone tries to kill a person in front of you, then a common man has been empowered by the law to kill that person,” he said.
Singh labored the point that though “it is the job of the police to maintain law and order”, common citizens too have rights they are not aware of.
“Common citizens are not aware that this is not just the right which the law gives to policemen only,” he added.
“A person has the right under the law to use necessary force… for the purpose of protecting one’s own body and property as also another’s body and property when immediate aid from the state machinery is not readily available,” said the top officer.
A BJP lawmaker, Prem Lata Singh, was present on the stage when the police chief made the comments.
The comments from the top cop came at a time when four members of a family were killed and another injured in a clash between two groups at Utavad village, where a man, suspected to be a suspended Haryana police personnel.
The police chief’s comments have provoked shock and concern in a state that saw violence during the Jat agitation for quota in jobs and education earlier this year, in which 30 were killed and over 300 injured.
Mr Singh recently replaced Yashpal Singhal, who was removed as police chief after he was severely criticised for his handling of the Jat quota protests in the state.