A bureaucrat in Tamil Nadu was caught abusing and threatening a cop on camera over devotees being let into a VIP ring at a temple. The viral video was reportedly shot on Friday close to the VIP gate at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram. it shows the district collector lashing out at the police officer for letting in devotees to pass through without showing tickets.
In the video which has now gone viral, the collector can be heard shouting at the officer, "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."
Not done with lambasting the man in khaki, the bureaucrat then trains guns on the state police, and calls them "arrogant".
"You police personnel are arrogant. Where is the Inspector General? Ask him to come. Suspend him. Come what may," he is heard saying.
In the clip, the cornered police officer is repeatedly apologising for it but the district collector brushes it away.
As per the report by NDTV, the district collector was unhappy as a lot of devotees were allowed into the VIP ring. Police officials mentioned in the report have said the cop in the video, identified as Inspector Ramesh from Tiruvallur, had only allowed an elderly couple who were struggling for "darshan” (pay obeisance before the deity).
After the video went viral, criticism came from different quarters with many calling the collector’s behaviour as "high-handed".
On Sunday, the Tamil Nadu bureaucrat tried to give an explanation for his behaviour, saying that he had turned "emotional" over streamlining the process in the temple.
Both district officials and the police work as a team and there was nothing against individual personnel or the police department, he was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The primary deity of the Varadaraja Perumal temple stays submerged in a tank and is only allowed for public worship once for 48 days in four decades, hence a large number of devotees visit the temple every day during this time.
It is being reported that devotees have to wait for over 12 hours for "darshan” on an average while VIPs and VVIPs only seldom have to wait for over 30 minutes.
On July 18, 2019, four devotees died at Athi Varadhar festival in Kancheepuram after complaining for suffocation, as per the News Minute. All were between the ages of 47 to 61 years. Edappadi K Palaniswami, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, later announced a compensation of one lakh rupees for the relatives of the deceased.