- Video of Tamil Nadu bureaucrat abusing police officer at temple is viral
- Tamil Nadu cop told he was "finished" for allowing devotees into VIP area
- State police officers criticised the bureaucrat's action as "high-handed"
A two-minute video of a bureaucrat in Tamil Nadu abusing and threatening a police officer over devotees being allowed into a VIP enclosure at a temple has gone viral. In the video, reportedly filmed on Friday near the VIP gate at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram district, the district collector hits out at the cop for allowing devotees to go through without showing passes.
"Did you come to cheat? I'll finish you. What checks are you doing? So many are without passes. When VIPs come, they stand like mud. Senior IPS officers and important ministers are coming. You are finished. You are suspended today," the collector can be seen screaming at the hapless officer.
Not satisfied with targeting the cop, the collector than targets the state police, calling them "arrogant".
"You police personnel are arrogant. Where is the Inspector General? Ask him to come. Suspend him. Come what may," he continues.
Throughout the shocking video, the cornered officer can be heard trying to explain his actions; his attempts to do so are brushed aside by the district collector. The police officer can then be heard repeatedly apologising, to which the collector snaps back, "What sorry?"
Sources close to the district collector said he was upset over large numbers of devotees being allowed into the VIP enclosure. However, police officials have said the inspector in the video, identified as Ramesh from Tiruvallur district, had only let through an elderly couple who were struggling for "darshan (to pray before the deity)".
Senior police officers, speaking off-the-record, said the collector had exceeded his brief and called his behaviour "high-handed".
The district collector attempted to explain his behaviour on Sunday, saying he had become "emotional" over streamlining the system. "District officials and the police work as a team and there was nothing against an individual officer or the police department," he claimed.
The central deity of the Varadaraja Perumal temple remains immersed in a tank and is only placed for public worship once every forty years, which explains the lakhs of devotees visiting the temple every day during this period.
On average, devotees wait up to 12 hours for "darshan". VIPs and VVIPs seldom have to wait for more than 30 minutes.
The district administration has already come under criticism for its management of the devotees, after at least six people died either waiting for or returning from "darshan" last month. The government has denied reports the death were due to a stampede.