Volunteers faced abuses and assaults during Delhi’s odd, even trial

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 18, 2016 07:49 IST
Civil defense personnel hold placards during the odd,even trial in front of the Parliament House, in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)

The residents might have had an easy ride home during the odd-even 15 day trial period, but the civil defense volunteers went through a harrowing time.

From being assaulted to having petty altercations, the volunteers said that they faced a troubling time during the odd-even scheme.

“There were a large number of people who just refused to abide by the scheme. We tried giving them roses and tried explaining that it was for their own good, but they failed to listen to us,” said 21-year-old Ankur Sharma.

Sharma was stationed near 11 Murti and says he was lucky to have only been involved in verbal altercations. His friends at another crossing nearby weren’t so lucky.

“A group of volunteers was brutally attacked near 3 Murti area after they had an altercation with some young men who were violating the odd-even rule. Their only fault was that they tried persuading the men to not use their car that day,” Sharma said.

He added that some volunteers had to be hospitalized after the attacks and were not in a condition to join back.

The volunteers, however, added that they received active support from the Delhi Police and Traffic police. “They were helpful and we worked in close coordination and got to learn a lot of things,” said Prince Kalyan, 26.

Kalyan added that during the trial, people came up with loads of creative excuses to escape fines. “Emergency was the one of the most used word. People also gave excuses like they’ll be fired from office if they don’t reach on time. Some even said that they are going back home to leave their cars,” said Kalyan.

The volunteers, however, also recalled people who went back to their homes after realizing that they had made a mistake. “We actually let a man go after he realized that he had made a mistake. He returned later, without his car, crossed the very spot where he was earlier stopped and even thanked us for correcting him,” said Pratyush Pandey, 24.

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