On Friday (November 25), the Vizag Traffic Police Department came under scanner after a copy of a bill, embossed with the image of Jesus Christ and a biblical verse, went viral on social media.
An image of the contentious bill was posted on Twitter by TDP leader Aman Venkata Ramana Reddy. The slip, issued on Friday, charged a customer ₹80 for ferrying him/her via auto from the railway station to VIP Road in Vizag.
Interestingly, the bill mentioned ‘Traffic Police, Visakhapatnam City’ at the top while the image of Jesus Christ was seen printed at the bottom. It also followed a verse from the Bible, which read, “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
— anam venkata ramana reddy (@anamramana) November 25, 2022
The same copy of the bill was also shared on the micro-blogging site by RSS ideologue, Ratan Sharda. “Traffic police challan in #AndhraPradesh comes with a message of #Jesus! Viva #Secularism. Why is no Indian going to courts? Are lawyers of AP only busy making money?” he asked.
— Ratan Sharda 🇮🇳 रतन शारदा (@RatanSharda55) November 25, 2022
Following outrage on social media, the Vizag police issued an explanation of the matter. It claimed, “The slips handed over by one autodriver to head constable unfortunately with his ignorance in emergency he distributed the slips.”
“It was stopped immediately after coming to notice. It was not done intentionally,” the Twitter handle of the Vizag City Police asserted. However, netizens were not convinced by the clarification and accused the cops of deceit.
The slips handed over by one autodriver to head constable unfortunately with his ignorance in emergency he distributed the slips. It was stopped immediately after coming to notice . It was not done intentionally.
— VizagCityPolice (@vizagcitypolice) November 25, 2022
“On the slip there is clear mention of Traffic Police, Visakhapatnam. If the entire Police Department of Vizag district practices Christianity, it’s ok. Just do not lie which is against your religion,” one Twitter user wrote.
On the slip there is clear mention of Traffic Police, Visakhapatnam.
If the entire Police Department of Vizag district practices Christianity, it's ok. Just do not lie which is against your religion.
— బటన్ నొక్కుడు బాదుడే బాదుడు (@rgvarma1100) November 25, 2022
Another user suggested that the cops learn the art of lying when quizzed on issues of public interest. “If you choose to lie atleast make it believable,” he wrote.
If you choose to lie atleast make it believable.
— Peter Gibbons (@tsknray) November 25, 2022
While speaking about the matter, a source from Vijaywada told Opindia that the slip is not a challan from the police. He informed that the image that is doing the rounds of the internet is in fact the pre-paid bill of auto service, available at railway stations.
On being asked about the statement issued by the Vizag police, he said, “Cover up. Nothing much. I have seen mushrooming of churches in Vijaywada ever since Jaganmohan Reddy took charge as the Andhra CM.” Our source chose to speak anonymously for fear of backlash from YSRCP supporters.