- Bribe Fighter
- 8 years ago
- 1436 views
We had gone to Agra from Delhi for the day. I was going to pick up my husband and his peon from their meeting when we (driver and myself) were stopped at an intersection minding our own business when the traffic cop signaled for us to pull over to the side - I knew where this was headed... By the way, I am American and my husband is Indian.
We did, he walked over and asked for the driver's license and the car's papers. He took them and walked off. The driver got out and went over to see what the problem was. He came back and sure enough the cop wanted 500 Rs for some pollution control sticker or something (which we have). I said to tell him I'll take the ticket (which was supposedly 1500 Rs) - there was no way I was going to pay a bribe. In the meantime the cop walked back up to the car and began getting really aggressive with the driver - opening the door and trying to physically yank him out and take the keys. The driver didn't get out and the cop walked away again. Since he still had our papers the driver got out and walked back up to the cop. He came back again after a few minutes and said that he'd lowered his price to 200 Rs.
By this time I was getting really angry so I got out of the car and walked up to the cop myself to call his bluff and make him to show me his ID so I could at least take down his info. I got up to him, poked him on the shoulder and said "you want money from me???". As soon as he saw me he gave me a slimy smile, handed me back the papers and said "chello Madame". I walked back to the car, gave the driver the papers and said I didn't pay anything; but in the meantime the driver had finally reached my husband on the phone who said not to move, they'd be right there in a rickshaw and he'd sort this guy out.
I knew things were about to heat up. My husband and his peon pulled up in an autorickshaw and hopped out. The peon and the driver went to fetch the cop (who had no idea what was in store for him) and I explained to my husband what had happened. I didn't understand much of what ensued as it was in Hindi, but basically the cop turned into a snivelling worm saying "sorry sir" and denying he asked for a bribe. My husband got very angry, grabbing the cop by his collar and shoving him up against the back of the car. By this time a crowd was gathering and 3 lanes of traffic had come to a standstill. The cop wouldn't show us his ID which only made my husband madder. A paddy wagon showed up sirens wailing, two other cops got out but if the bad cop thought he was saved he was wrong. My husband didn't back off, calling these two guys over to make a report on the bad cop. The reinforcements quickly turned tail and scuttled off without doing anything. I was afraid my husband was going to punch the cop, he was still shoving him around and yelling at him. Nobody in the crowd of at least 200 people moved a finger other than film the whole thing with their phones. Finally I got out of the car, he let the guy go and we took off.
At the very next intersection we were pulled over again...My husband jumped out of the car blood still boiling from the previous encounter. Three cops were there and he was instantly in their faces, yelling at them, asking what the problem was now. Whether the other cops had called ahead we can only just suspect, but these 3 quickly backed off and said to go on, but not after he came quite close to going ballistic again and calling a magistrate to report them too.
The last time we went to Agra we were hit up for a bribe by a traffic cop too.
At least that cop got the thrashing he deserved and that with hundreds of people to witness it. Maybe, hopefully, one of them will have the nerve to stand up for himself next time a cop tries to abuse his power and coerce a bribe. At least my husband has become a folk hero (my hero!) for standing up to a dirty cop!