Other States

After launch of campaign, Assam police’s Facebook, Twitter posts get wacky

Photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Policing is serious business in Assam, even if it occasionally means seizing a ‘cartoon’ of ‘bears.’

The police in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Wednesday seized a huge cache of liquor and tobacco products in Naohalia area of Duliajan. The constables were patted for a job well done amid COVID-19 duties.

Senior officers could not help but smile when they received a seizure list mentioning the types of liquor and packets of chewing tobacco with misspelt brand names. Many of the items were in cases or cartons with an extra ‘o’, a common mistake in these parts.

No. 4 and 5 on the list were ‘bear’ of strong and mild types.

“...Before you point out serial no 4, we are doubly sure the officer on duty meant fermented barley and not the four-legged omnivore,” the Dibrugarh police tweeted on its handle late on Wednesday.

“Winnie the Pooh, Baloo [of Jungle Books], Yogi and other cartoon bears were certainly not on the minds of the policemen on duty. They meant ‘beer’ and ‘carton’ when they wrote ‘bear’ and ‘cartoon,’” a district police officer said.

On Wednesday, the Kamrup district police added a bit of wit to their social media announcement about catching three drug-peddlers along with heroin after a 15-minute chase at Changsari near Guwahati.

“You may be a top racer in NFS Most Wanted. But when it comes to drugs, you can’t beat us even if you are a Walter White of Breaking Bad,” the Kamrup police tweeted.

The Dibrugarh police had a few days ago tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai while tweeting on the need to wear masks to keep the novel coronavirus away.

“Facial recognition in your phone may not work with the mask on. Leave that thought to the likes of @tim_cook @finkd and @sundarpichai and that’s no reason not to wear a mask,” it tweeted.

On May 9, central Assam’s Nagaon police chose to be wacky by tweeting: “Wishful thinking of narco criminals during lockdown: Police are too busy and they can’t see me. And In last 10 days, Team Nagaon raided 4 places, arrested 6 drug-peddlers, seized drugs in huge quantity.”

Ditching officialese

The Assam police’s tweets were officialese until after the lynching of two Assamese men – Abhijit Nath and Neelotpal Das – in Karbi Anglong in June 2018. The incident made the police start its ‘Think’ campaign in three hashtag segments: #ThinkBeforeYouPost, #ThinkBeforeYouHit and #ThinkBeforeYouStalk.

A few witty lines were thrown in for added effect. A sample was: Sharing rumours/hate messages online can enable you for a date with us in nearest police station this weekend.

In about a month after the launch of this campaign, the Assam Police Facebook page and Twitter handle together garnered 17.25 lakh followers. The Twitter account today has 6.15 lakh followers and counting.

“The trigger for that social media campaign was the Karbi Anglong lynching,” Harmeet Singh, Additional Director General of Police (Modernisation-Logistics), said.

A team headed by Mr. Singh has been behind the witty face of the State police.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 11:52:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/after-launch-of-campaign-assam-polices-facebook-twitter-posts-get-wacky/article31639443.ece

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