'I saw a cop take Rs 20 from a street vendor in Bengaluru'
news Saturday, April 18, 2015 - 05:30
A video showing a cop take money from a street vendor in Bengaluru has generated a lot of debate on Facebook with people adding their own stories of having witnessed similar scenes. Uploaded by Santhosh Kumar on March 31, the video shows a policeman allegedly taking Rs 20 from a street vendor, and has been shared over 2,100 times and has been viewed over 58,000 times. Nam karnataka police life estene !!!!!! Posted by Santhosh Kumar on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Â The video has since found its way to Bengaluru Facebook groups and people on one such group have shared their own experiences of watching cops take what is called â€śmaamulâ€ť â€“ slang for money that cops take from commercial establishments and traders â€“ from street vendors. One person who commented on the thread said that his faith in the cops was restored as the jurisdictional inspector, when informed of the alleged bribe, returned with the two cops who took the money and returned it to the shop keeper. This is what the man said: â€śFew months ago as I was parking my car on M* area near GB*, I saw 2 policemen on Cheetah collect money from a roadside food vendor. I asked the Policemen what's happening.. They sped away. Even the food stall vendor was unwilling to share what for the money is. I then called 100 police helpline and asked the lady whether Cheetah police are supposed to be collecting money from Roadside vendors. She said there is no such thing and asked me to get in touch with ABC* Police Inspector Mr. R and gave me his number. I called Mr. R and told him what I had seen. He asked me to wait there and within 5 minutes the same 2 policemen came back returned the money to Vendor. Mr. R also sent me a thank you message appreciating my concern as a citizen. I am sharing this to appreciate Officers like Mr. R and I wish I could do this more often.. I wish each one of us do this every time we see such thing. I am sure there are more officers like him in the Police.â€ť Although the man who made this comment received much praise for his story, the question of illegality escaped most of the comments. Talking to street vendors is truly, an enlightening experience. The going rate for small-time â€śmamulâ€ť is Rs 2 for a fruit-seller on a cycle, Rs 5 for a seller with a push-cart and Rs 10 for a spread on a footpath. â€śMamulâ€ť rates vary depending on the area and locality, and perhaps the morality of the cops. Some even define a â€ścorrupt copâ€ť as one who fixes them in false cases over after his usual â€śmamulâ€ť collection of the day. Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi said that the police department would â€śnot tolerateâ€ť such behaviour and that no officer, irrespective of rank, would be spared. He said that a twitter user had brought one such incident to his notice and that action had been taken in that case. He said that if the video was shared with the police, action would be taken.