Haryana doesn't exactly have a reputation of being the safest state in the country, but even so, its newly appointed police chief has an odd approach to dealing with crime. On Thursday, Director General of Police KP Singh made a statement that effectively sounded like an encouragement of vigilante justice.

“If someone tries to kill a person then the law entitles even a common man to kill him, but the common man doesn't know this fact. It's not just the right of policemen,” Singh said. “If you see someone insulting women, or committing arson, or threatening to kill someone, then a common man has been empowered by the law to kill that person. So you as citizens should understand your role in this, it is of course the job of the police”.

Singh was speaking at a convention about the role of police in Panchayati Raj in Haryana's Jind. His comments, telling people that they can take the law into their own hands, come not long after the state witnessed major violence in February during the Jat reservation stir. At the time, people protesting to give reservations to the Jats engaged in large-scale violence, including looting and arson, and even attacked police stations, water canals and armouries, before the military was able to take control of the situation.

The police chief's comments could be seen as a response to the events then, when many complained that the police turned a blind eye to the violence. But it also raises questions about the police department's approach to crime in the state.

Singh on Friday issued a clarification of his statement saying, that his intention had solely been to spread awareness, according to a report by NewsX.

“I only said, if someone tries to rape any woman, there are sections in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which allows you to kill someone in self-defence.”