It was supposed to be a light-hearted programme for the Kolkata Police – a day to remember the valour of brave police officers who keep Kolkata’s streets safe throughout the year. Brand ambassador of Bengal, actor Shahrukh Khan as well as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were present to honour them. But SRK grooving to the tracks of the song Jab Tak Hain Jaan with a woman cop at the function has sparked off a major controversy. Since the officer was in her formal uniform at the time, questions have been raised if the uniform was disrespected in the midst of all the fun and frolic.
While no one is openly voicing their dissent fearing the ire of the state government, media reports suggest that the issue has created quite a flutter in the police ranks. Police officers have cited past incidents when strong action was taken against staff who indulged in dancing while wearing their formal uniform at a social function. In the Left regime, former Finance Minister Ashim Dasgupta once took action against a cop for smoking inside the Writers building.
But looks like this time the matter is most likely to be hushed up as evident from quotes by top police officers. Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police has told media outlets that it was a social event and that the entire matter should be seen in that perspective. Former police chiefs and IAS officers have refused to place blame on the woman cop saying the programme had a specific theme and she merely went with the flow.
Yet the controversy hasn’t died down yet as many believe the matter is a clear violation of norms laid down in the police rule book. The book clearly mentions the places where a police officer is permitted to wear his/her uniform. But officers say that there were instructions to send a fixed number of police officers wearing the uniform at the event. Looks like when King Khan is in the house, controversy is never far behind.