Gun jams, UP cop fights on, saying ‘thain thain’
Meerut: The 13-second video clip of a police officer “shooting” with his mouth leaves viewers amused. Only, it wasn’t a light-hearted moment in police procedures calling for the protagonist to make the “thain thain” sound of a gun firing. Sub-inspector Manoj Kumar of UP police was actually in pursuit of two armed men in Sambhal district on Friday night, but had found his progress hampered by a jammed pistol.
His immediate response of mimicking the sharp crack of gunfire, apparently to frighten one of the miscreants hiding in the sugarcane field, was so bizarre that the clip was shared throughout Saturday on social media. None of the over 1,500 encounters of UP police since March 2017 — in which 56 criminals have been killed and over 700 injured — was perhaps as talked about as SI Manoj Kumar’s unfazed reaction as he gamely shouts, “Maaro, maaro, ghero, ghero, thain, thain.”
The cops in Sambhal’s Asmauli area had earlier signalled two youths on a motorcycle to stop during surprise checking, but the bikers had opened fire at the police team while trying to flee. After retaliatory firing, one of them, Rukhsad, carrying a bounty of Rs 25,000, was held.
When Rukhsad’s associate slipped away in the dark, a combing operation was launched. “During this, the pistol of one of the SIs malfunc- tioned and he can be heard shouting ‘thain thain’ in the video,” said Yamuna Prasad, superintendent of police, who explained with a straight face that Kumar had done so “in jest to support the ongoing operation after his pistol choked”.
Without deliberating on the officer’s presence of mind — or the lack of it, the debate is still on — additional director general of police (law and order) Anand Kumar, similarly straight-faced, said on Saturday, “We will get the armourer to conduct a technical inspection of the weapon. The incident was an exception and even the best of shooters can sometimes run into such technical glitches.”
In UP, most police personnel use the obsolete .303 rifles, which are now being gradually replaced by Insas rifles and other semi-automatic weapons such as the 9mm and Glock pistols and fully automatic weapons, such as MP5, AK-47 and carbines.
SI Manoj Kumar (R) can be heard shouting in the video