Living in New Delhi during the #coronavirus pandemic, @gettleman and I started seeing signs all over the city that said “Delhi Police, Dil Ki Police” or the ‘Police of Heart.’ We were surprised to see the police in this completely different role @nytimes
Cops are now making puris (fried bread) and distributing food to people who line up for hours everyday. The desperation here is alarming. The police are even sewing masks!
But we knew all along that this is the same police force that was caught on camera beating students at a university. That too, the one where I studied. A few months ago, these men were even seen siding with Hindu mobs in religious violence against Muslims.
So we went to meet Shahjad, a Muslim shopkeeper whose shop was burned by Hindu mobs during the riots. He worked for this his entire life, and he said the police did nothing. The police, for their part, said they did the best they could.
It was clear. The police have seized an opportunity during the pandemic to rebrand themselves as a compassionate force. But is their campaign really working? We met N.K. Singh, a former cop who has been keeping a close watch on the role of the Delhi Police.
You see, the police in India have a reputation for using the lathi. These are big heavy sticks that can crack someone's skull. As India eases the world's largest coronavirus lockdown, we saw the police going back to their time-tested weapon.
You can follow @Karan_Singhs.
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