SSI was attacked after he intervened in argument between the SI and a group of complainants

A sub-inspector (SI) of the MKB Nagar police who recently joined the station was warned after he slapped a senior special sub-inspector (SSI) on Tuesday.

The SSI was attacked after he intervened in an argument between the SI and a group of people who came to file a complaint at the station a day ago.

The police said SI K. Gopinath (30) had been transferred from the Maduravoyal police force four days ago. On Monday, around 10 p.m., Gopinath chased a drunk autorickshaw driver after he created nuisance in front of the station and tried to enter it. At the same time, a group of persons led by George, who works as a clerk in a law office at Egmore, came to the station from neighbouring SM Nagar to file a complaint over a petty issue.

Sources said the group on seeing the SI roughing up the autorickshaw driver, protested against his action. When an argument flared up, S. Ravi, an advocate, supported the group and argued with the SI. Gopinath then asked the group to leave the station immediately.

Agitated over not being allowed to file the complaint, the group, led by Ravi, attacked Gopinath before inspector (law & order) of MKB Nagar, S. Nataraj, rushed along with SSI S. Palayam (57) and pacified the group and the SI, who then dispersed peacefully. 

After starting duty on Tuesday at around 9.30 a.m., Gopinath confronted Palayan and asked him why the latter had sided with the group. Palayan told him it was not wise to be rude to complainants. Gopinath then slapped and verbally abused Palayan. It took the efforts of inspector Nataraj and other policemen to separate the two men.

In the incident, Palayan suffered minior injuries. Subsequently, an inquiry was conducted by senior police officers. No case has been registered.

“We warned the sub-inspector of severe action against such indiscipline and the warning will go into his service records,” said a senior police officer.  

Police sources said Gopinath had got agitated over Palayan’s intervention as Palayan, though a senior sub-inspector with 35 years of experience including 3.5 years at MKB Nagar police, had been promoted as special sub-inspector from head constable  in order to match the rank of a regular sub-inspector. Gopinath had been directly recruited as a sub-inspector and belong to 2011 batch. “Being a young officer and that too a direct recruit, Gopinath was upset when a SSI, a junior in terms of rank, intervened in a case that was being handled by the former. Such behaviour was uncalled for,” said a senior police officer.

Experts in crime science said new recruits, especially those at the field level such as sub-inspectors, need to be sensitised in handling complainants and the general behaviour they have to cultivate while on duty. “Routine interaction between junior officers and their superiors, especially in crime-ridden areas like north Chennai, is needed,” said a senior criminologist. 

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