Generally not the ones to be caught helpless, the complaint of a senior Uttar Pradesh police officer on a call with bosses has gone viral as an example of the glaring breakdown of order during local polls in the state set for a keenly awaited election showdown next year.
"These people are throwing bricks and stones sir. They even slapped me. They brought bombs as well. People from BJP. MLA and district chief," Superintendent of Police (City) Prashant Kumar is heard saying in the video shot in Etawah district.
In another video, the police officer is heard talking to the BJP district chief Ajay Dhakre and Sarita Bhadauria with folded hands.
"You all are doing all this," Mr Dhakre yells at him.
"Sir, they are slapping me," Mr Kumar is heard saying.
"No one is slapping you," the BJP leader replies, agitated.
"They did sir, over there," the police officer says, asking them to move away.
योगी जी का नारा था ठोंक दो,— Manish Jagan Agrawal (मनीष जगन अग्रवाल) (@manishjagan) July 10, 2021
आज भाजपाइयों ने पुलिस को तबियत से ठोंका!
इटावा में भाजपा विधायक और जिलाध्यक्ष की मौजूदगी में भाजपा नेताओं ने एसपी सिटी को थप्पड़ मारा, पत्थरबाजी की,
पुलिस पिट रही है, सत्ताधारी गुंडों के आगे हाथ जोड़ रही है,
ये जंगलराज की परिभाषा नहीं तो और क्या है? pic.twitter.com/3j3TScSMR9
The local Ms Bhadauria, also mentioned in the police officer's call, denied seeing the cop getting slapped.
"I was here on the side. The police were clashing with us. Our district chief fell down on the road," she said.
Etawah was among the 17 districts where the police said violence flared during the block panchayat chief elections on Saturday.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Etawah Brajesh Kumar Singh told reporters, "When the mob was asked to stop from coming near the polling booth, it started stone-pelting and firing. We have all the CCTV footage. We will investigate once the election is over. A case will be filed soon."
In another video, a TV journalist in Unnao was seen being mercilessly beaten up by a senior bureaucrat.
ये कोई गुंडा नहीं।उन्नाव के IAS सीडीओ हैं,जो एक टी वी पत्रकार को दौड़ा-दौड़ा कर पीट रहे हैं।उसका क़ुसूर सिर्फ यह था कि सीडीओ की आंख के सामने हो रही बीडीसी मेंबर्स की धर-पकड़ उसने शूट कर ली थी। pic.twitter.com/mb6suKa98w— Kamal khan (@kamalkhan_NDTV) July 10, 2021
Voting for the block panchayat chief polls began at 11 am on Saturday across Uttar Pradesh and ended at 3 pm with the counting of votes starting soon after. The BJP claimed a "historic win" amid complaints by the opposition of widespread rigging and clashes.