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CAA Protests: Meet the Bengaluru Cop Who Reached Out to Keep Peace

Rathor said he tried a different way to pacify student protesters as they were ‘young, educated and argumentative’

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Video editor: Vishal Kumar

“They were young blood, intelligent and very well educated also... they were very much argumentative also, which they need to be. I told them ultimately that I cannot reply to all your arguments. I may be less intelligent than you, but I am more experienced so please listen to me.”
Dr Chetan Singh Rathor, DCP Bengaluru central

Despite the imposition of Section 144 across several parts of Karnataka in a late night order on Wednesday, 18 December, citizens of Bengaluru were prepared to go to any lengths to register their protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Scores of students, advocates, activists and citizens came out in protest of the ‘draconian’ law on Thursday, which led to scores of preventive detentions in nearby police stations.

But in the midst of the chaos, Dr Chetan Singh Rathor, DCP Bengaluru central, at the forefront of the protests at Town Hall, went viral for his efforts to make peace with the young protesters.

Two videos, one of him singing the national anthem and another of him requesting young students to trust him and accept his leadership. With the kind of police violence and riots that were witnessed across the country, the police officer has won the hearts of people across the country for his calm and understanding approach.

The Quint caught up with him, to understand his approach in a near-crisis situation.

Bringing Order to a Leader-less Mob

He said, “It was largely drawn through social media, WhatsApp messages and all. From what we could see, there were smaller groups that did not have any coordination among them. They were not listening to each other, but had some common intention. In such a situation, such a crowd or mob should not go into a wrong hand, or some violent person should not become the leader and lead to some wrong direction.”

“I tried to convince them to accept me as their leader temporarily and asked them to come with me. When the channel of communication is not open, there is a gap. They see the other party as enemy, in this case it was the police. I tried to maintain the relationship and friendship. We are both citizens, except for this uniform,” he said.

A long-time police officer, Dr Rathor said that he tried to leverage his experience against the intelligence of the youthful protesters.

In a candid moment, he tells us he is a PhD holder in Horticulture from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi, “which is nothing like police!”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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