Hyderabad: In a video that has been doing the rounds on Twitter on January 13, men with lathis were found asking a protesting man to disperse at Tolichowki. The video, which has been going viral, shows how the men have asked the protesting man to switch off his phone to stop recording.

In the video, the man had questioned whether they were from the police, to which they said yes. However, several Twitter users had criticized as to why the police officers were not in uniform.

A Twitter account named ‘CAA/NRC Protest’ while posting this video on January 13 had said, “Do these people have any affiliation with RSS ? No Uniform, No Badges, Claiming to be Police, RSS Lathis (look alike) in hands!”

However, denying the allegations, Hyderabad City police confirmed on Twitter that the men seen in the video were cops, on January 14. Several Twitterati have cried foul at this action, questioning how citizens are supposed to identify the police if they are not in uniform.

Natasha, a Twitter user had responded to Hyderabad police’s tweet, “Thank you for clarifying, Sir. Does that mean that if we ask them to display their identity cards, they will do so? Because otherwise, anyone can pretend to be police. And the police will get a bad name.”

Srinivas Kodali, an independent researcher based in Hyderabad, in a reply to the Hyderabad police had tweeted, “Why are cops not in uniform and carrying name tags, id cards?

Speaking to NewsMeter, Swaranjit Singh, former Director General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh said, “While it depends on the nature of duty the police is performing, lathi and civil dress usually don’t go together. It is preferable that they be in uniform, because it would help to control the law-and order situation. Why to create an unnecessary doubt among the public?”

Earlier on January 13, Hyderabad city cops had booked around 60 people for the late-night anti-CAA protest at Tolichowki. While flash protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have begun sprouting at late hours in Hyderabad, the public has turned wary of police turning up in civil dress, claiming that it is illegal.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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