Trolls have a field day over Kerala cop's '14 seconds' statement

Trolls have a field day over Kerala cop's '14 seconds' statement

Trolls have a field day over Kerala cop's '14 seconds' statement

Two days after a Kerala IPS officer made a remark about booking men who “stare” at women for more than 14 seconds, Internet trolls continued to have a go at him.

Rishiraj Singh IPS, the state excise commissioner, had on Sunday stated during an event that there were provisions under the law to arrest a man who stares annoyingly at a woman for more than 14 seconds.

Even as legal experts pointed out at the impropriety in the officer talking about a non-existent rule, the CPM-led state government swung into damage-control mode. Minister for Sports E P Jayarajan said the officer’s statement had to be examined. Jayarajan also called Singh’s comment “irritating”.

On social media, however, the comment was greeted with all-out glee. The memes ran all through the long weekend and on Tuesday, comment trails on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp indicated that the laughs are not dying down. Singh had made the statement while addressing a gathering of students on issues pertaining to women’s safety.

It’s not often that Singh provides material for Kerala’s ever-rising tribe of Internet trolls. Singh is one of the few government officials who has “fan pages” on social networking sites and is celebrated as an upright officer, often equated with supercops from the best of Indian mass hero films. His records, however, do es not seem to offer him much respite from this gaffe.

On Twitter, the #14SecondRule is doing the rounds since Monday. In one of the many memes around the issue, a man is shown staring at a woman for 13 seconds before taking a moment’s break, only to continue staring at her after the statutory interval.

Singh did find support from the ones who chose to look at the bigger picture the official was pointing to. Eminent writer N S Madhavan tweeted —“What Rishi Raj Singh told students shouldn’t be a subject of trolling. His message, ‘girls be proactive’, is clear & you should be with him.” Last year, Singh was caught in a row after he remained seated and failed to salute the then home minister Ramesh Chennithala at a passing out parade at the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur.

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