Inspector general of Jammu and Kashmir Police (Traffic) Basant Rath on Thursday clarified about the viral video that has him slapping a bearded man repeatedly over an argument.
In a detailed post on Facebook, Rath wrote that the ‘affection’ he had received in the state of Jammu and Kashmir was biggest achievement of his life and that he would never do something that would make him lose it.
Ever since a 40-second video of him slapping a bearded man became viral on social media, Rath has been at the receiving end of netizens with many terming him a villain which is contrary to his image of presenting himself a hero.
After receiving flak from prominent personalities and netizens of Kashmir on social media for his behavior, Basant took to Facebook and wrote a 155 word post explaining the video was taken out of context, “That 40 seconds video was a part of a 25 odd minutes long conversation in that fateful afternoon. The guy posed to be medical student from Delhi spending his vacation in Srinagar,” he wrote.
Above in the video is the conversation (recorded by one present in the group and shard on Facebook) between Rath and the man that led to the scuffle, in which the man asks him about removing military bunkers from the city. Rath asks the man if he has told these people to record the conversation, leading to slapping.
Rath, in his post, said that the guy had posed few questions that were political in nature and that without his knowledge the conversation was being recorded. “I trusted him as a friend. And my answers were honest and politically incorrect. Ten odd minutes into our conversation, I realised that a couple of his friends were recording our conversation. When I asked them to stop it and delete the videos, they created a scene. That triggered the scuffle,” Rath explained in the post
Rath said that the incident was more than two months old and he regretted his choice to engage with the guy, “I’ll regret my choice to engage with the guy that afternoon for a pretty long time.”
Ever since taking over as IG traffic Jammu and Kashmir, Rath who is both hailed and criticized for his work ethics has often been in news.
Featured video by Ahmad Javeed/Facebook