A video of policemen in the Wazirganj area of Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district frisking people at gunpoint has emerged on social media with senior police officials saying that it was done “as a drill”, Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday. Senior Superintendent of Police Ashok Tripathi said it was a precautionary measure taken by the police as miscreants often fire at the police.

The video shows the police officer in charge of Bagren village outpost, Rahul Sisodia, and two constables pointing their guns at bikers while one pats them down. “I was instructed by senior officers to be cautious while frisking any suspect,” The Times of India quoted Sisodia as saying. “That is why some suspected bikers were checked at gunpoint.”

Tripathi said the policemen did their duty and did not harass anybody. “Moreover, he [Sisodia] had inputs that some culprits would be passing through the area,” he added.

However, Tripathi agreed that frisking people at gunpoint not the norm. “It was done by our personnel as a drill so that they could respond efficiently if a person they are checking turns out be criminal,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying. “I have advised all officials that this must not be repeated with common people again.”

The director general of police has said that he will look into the matter after members of civil society questioned the police’s actions. “How can police do drill on common people?” asked social activist Iqbal Ahmed. “If they want to do such drill they must do it in a controlled environment. But this was clearly done to harass and intimidate people.”