Chandigarh: She fought robbers as a 10-year-old in 2000 and got a national bravery award from the prime minister for it after her brave act led to the gang being busted. But when she came face to face with police after her SUV was stolen in Chandigarh recently, Heena Bakshi finds herself on the wrong side of law after being slapped with a criminal case.
Bakshi, 22, a resident of Panchkula town adjoining Chandigarh, is facing the heat from an over-zealous Chandigarh Police which has slapped a case against her under various sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act after she posted "abusive" and "objectionable" comments on police functioning in the city.
Daughter of a serving army colonel, who is posted in Ladakh, Bakshi, frustrated by the Chandigarh Police's inaction in tracing her stolen SUV, posted her comments on the Facebook page of the Chandigarh Traffic Police.
"My white Safari registration number CH-O3R-0808 was stolen from outside my friend's house in Sector 18.....you people kill us with your 'nakas' n check points. Harassing us if we are just driving around at night. When we are driving our own cars bought with our own money. But you have no f****n clue when somebody steals that car from under your eyes n vanishes into the blue!! What policing are u ppl doing?? U challan our a**es outa. I want to know a u are the freakin authoritiesa I am a respectable citizen paying my taxes n driving by the rules n not breaking the law....The police started questioning me aif I was making this whole shit up or if someone actually stole it?? Why don't you catch the real culprits n bring them to justice rather than screwing our lives with your stupid worthless policing? Who stole my car from under your noses??"
What upset Bakshi, as per her comments, was that lower rung police officials started questioning her about her stolen SUV instead of giving her any information about their own efforts to trace the vehicle.
"Her comments on Facebook were out of frustration and were general in nature. She did not intend to be abusive to anyone in particular. Police found one particular word objectionable," Bakshi's father, Col.P. Bakshi, who specially flew down from Leh to sort out the matter after police slapped a case against here, said at his house in Panchkula's Mansa Devi complex area.
Col. Bakshi said that he had met senior Chandigarh Police officers Monday in this regard.
However, the Chandigarh Police, under fire from society and media for harassing the young woman instead of improving policing and lowering the city's crime rate, especially car thefts and snatchings, is unwilling to admit its mistake in hurriedly registering a case against Bakshi.
"The matter is under investigation. We will look at all aspects," Chandigarh's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naunihal Singh told media Tuesday, before walking off when asked a probing question regarding police over-doing in Bakshi's case.
Many in the city believe that the Chandigarh Police are going overboard.
"Police, instead of tracing Henna's car and checking the increasing crime rate in Chandigarh, are busy registering cases and harassing common people like her. Senior police officers are busy only attending evening parties and playing golf," a senior city-based lawyer told IANS.
As a 10-year-old child, Bakshi had received the Geeta Chopra national bravery award from the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after she had caught hold of a robber inside her house in Haryana's Ambala Cantt, 45 km from here.
The bravery award, its citation and a photograph of Henna receiving it from Vajpayee adorns the wall of the living room in her house here, even as her worried parents hope that she gets out of the present situation.
Henna has been booked under sections 66-A and 67 of the IT Act, punishable with a jail term of more than two years and are non-bailable. The sections deal with abusive language and obscene content on the Internet.