Gun jams, UP cop fights on, say­ing ‘thain thain’

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Piyush.Rai@ times­group.com

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

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