'If lathis were horses': UP police's way to tackle mobs

 Police and RAF personnel patrol near the Hanumagarhi temple in Ayodhya. (PTI Photo)

A few months back, an Uttar Pradesh cop had pretended to fire his pistol at a criminal by shouting 'thain-thain' (mimicking the sound of a handgun) during an encounter in the state's Sambhal district, after his pistol got jammed. 

The criminal, who was wanted in several cases of murder, extortion, and kidnapping, was finally nabbed.

Apparently encouraged by the success of this technique, the UP cops did something even more bizarre a few days back during a mock drill at the police lines at Firozabad town, to practice crowd control management.

The cops were supposed to ride horses while conducting the mock drill. Since there were no horses, they rode their lathis instead. 

The matter came to light after a video showing a group of cops running in a field with lathis between their legs went viral on social media.

As the video drew sharp reactions from the netizens, the police officials sprung to defend its action, saying that the horses were not available. "The mock drill was essential in view of the approaching Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case... there were no horses and hence we used lathis," said a senior police official in Firozabad.

One has heard of the proverb 'if wishes were horses, beggars would ride' meaning that merely wishing does not yield to anything. For the UP police, it seems, 'if lathis were horses, the cops would control crowds better'.

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