‘Drunk’ Delhi policeman in online video was having a stroke

A Delhi policeman who lost his job and his reputation when a video of him « drunk » was shared by thousands online has appealed to the country’s Supreme Court after proving he was having a stroke.

Salim PK, who was fired by his constabulary the day after the footage went online, is seeking compensation for the media vilification he says was subjected to after the video emerged, according to the Mail Online.

The head constable said that despite the media furore around his suspension, there was little coverage of his return to work two months later when his medical condition was confirmed.

A video clip of Mr PK staggering and clutching handrails in a carriage on the metro, before falling to the ground, was posted to YouTube and viewed thousands of times in August last year.

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Mr PK’s lawyer, Wills Mathews, told the Mail Online his client was fighting for the « right to live with dignity and reputation. »

« When the video went viral and Salim was suspended, it made front page news. When he was taken back, not a single newspaper or TV channel carried it, » said Mr Mathews.

« In the eyes of the general public, the petitioner was drunk in the metro and he is still under suspension. »

Mr Mathews added that it was « humanly impossible » for the head constable to trace the source of the video since he was unwell and also caring for his wife, who became depressed and suffered a heart attack as a result of the national ridicule.

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The 50-year-old had already suffered a major stroke – which his bosses were aware of – while part of a special security team in the city.

Despite being treated in hospital on numerous occasions and moving on to a desk job, Mr PK’s protestations that he was not drunk in the recent metro video were not heeded, he says, and he was suspended.

After this stroke, the policeman was left paralysed on the left side and with a speech disorder.

He has now approached the Supreme Court to request compensation for defamation, a removal of the 37-second video, and for curbs to be put in place over potentially misleading video clips in the future.

Mr PK also requested that the Press Council of India, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Delhi government publish the correct facts with due prominence.

Social media has played a key role in engaging the Indian public, including after the gang rape of a student in the city in 2012, and more recently the arrest of a student by the government for « anti-India slogans » in February this year.

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