Meet Gangandeep Singh, who didn’t let mob “chop a Muslim boy into pieces”
Gagandeep Singh, who became an overnight celebrity after single-handedly rescuing a young man from a mob on May 22, has been receiving awards and praises from all corners
Gagandeep Singh, a Sub Inspector who joined Uttarakhand Police in 2015, is an overnight celebrity after single-handedly rescuing a young man from a mob on May 22. Videos of his heroic act have gone viral on social media and while the state police has been receiving thousands of calls from across the country, and some from abroad, his seniors have given him a reward of ₹2,500 for his act of bravery!
But the young, thoughtful Singh has been left largely unaffected by the belated celebration. The incident, he recalls, happened on May 22. But till May 25 life for him was normal and uneventful till he visited the bank. There he was mobbed by people and even bankers insisted on taking selfies with him. That is when he first learnt that his bravery had been noticed.
After returning to Dehradun late on Friday evening after conducting a raid in Delhi, when NH caught up with him, he sounded grave and humble. The accolades had made him realise that the number of people who believed in social and communal harmony, humanity and brotherhood was much higher than people who spread hatred. The thought, he said, was humbling and his responsibility as a police officer has just become greater.
“I caught hold of the boy and pulled him away from the crowd. I loudly warned the mob against even touching the boy! The boy hugged me tightly like a child hugs his mother when he is scared. I didn’t know whether he was a Muslim or a Hindu, Sikh or a Christian. It was the mob which seemed to have the information. They were shouting, “he’s Muslim, chop him into pieces!”
Recalling the incident, he said, “ I can’t say whether it was a coincidence or my fate, but on that day when the inspector in charge of Girjiya temple chowk was on leave, I was assigned the duty in his absence.”
“I was at the gate of the temple, which attracts large crowds because of its scenic beauty. There was a commotion near the pond, where I was informed some people were beating up a boy and abusing a girl who was with him. I rushed to the spot and asked the lady constable to take the girl aside. Both the boy and the girl looked like adults.”
“I caught hold of the boy and pulled him away from the crowd. I loudly warned the mob against even touching the boy! The boy hugged me tightly like a child hugs his mother when he is scared. I didn’t know whether he was a Muslim or a Hindu, Sikh or a Christian. It was the mob which seemed to have the information. They were shouting, "he’s Muslim, chop him into pieces!"
“He wanted to hide behind me, he was trembling badly, I have never seen a person so terrorised; thousands of couples come to Girjiya Mandir daily, this kind of an incident had never happened before. “
“I am a police officer and my duty is to protect. I decided, come what may, I would protect this boy. Even if I was not on duty, I would have done the same.”
“The crowd started shouting slogans against me. After a little scuffle, we were able to rescue the boy when the police reinforcement arrived. I felt a deep contentment and was at peace. Now I could face God without any guilt.”
Gagandeep Singh from Jaspur (Uddham Singh Nagar) lost his father when he was five years old. Besides his mother, Gurinder Kaur, he has a sister who got married in January and now lives in Canada. He himself is still unmarried, but is engaged to his fiancee chosen by his mother.
The video of the incident was first uploaded on social media by Gagandeep’s sister Kiran Randhawa in Canada. Gagandeep says, “I don’t know who shot the video and how it reached my sister.
His batchmate and friend Saurabh Tyagi said, “he has made us and the entire police department proud. People who used to criticise the police have been silenced.”
There is elation at Ramnagar Police Station also. A police inspector Vikram Rathore said, “The boy has done a very good job. He is a very decent guy. Now the world would know that our police also have good and brave men and women. Our whole staff feel inspired and motivated. We are receiving congratulatory messages from across the world. Our SSP has rewarded him with two thousand and five hundred rupees.”
He goes on to add, “Gagandeep is now a celebrity. I have received around a thousand calls from all over the country. Wherever he goes, people crowd around him. Youngsters take selfies with him. In fact, we warned Gagandeep not to get swayed by all this praise and remain as he is- friendly, brave and generous.”
An overwhelmed Gagandeep said, “I will never change, I will remain the same. Rather, I have to become a much better human being because now I have an image of a good policeman among people, an image which is very hard to maintain. But I will try.”