The general belief that cops do not have to face unruly behaviour on the roads of the Capital is completely untrue, claim Delhi Traffic police officials.
According to official records, 10 traffic cops have been killed in the last five years, while performing their duties on the road. Statistics show that in 2010, 2011 and in 2012 two traffic cops, each year, lost their lives on duty. This figure went up in 2013 when three traffic cops were mowed down by traffic violators.
With the death of constable Manna Ram, who was run over by a errant driver after he was stopped near the Zakhira flyover, 2014 also opened its tragic account.
“Traffic police officials often face abusive behaviour and life threatening situations. Like Ram’s accident, in many cases, errant drivers deliberately flout traffic rules and risk the lives of cops on duty,” said BS Bassi, commissioner of police.
In a similar incident, in 1998, Muktesh Chander, now the special commissioner of police, was also almost run over by a traffic violator when he asked the offending vehicle to stop. Though Chander’s life was spared, he received severe injuries in his hand.
“I followed the vehicle and ensured that the driver was convicted. There is a general lack of adherence to traffic rules in the city and with this callous attitude it becomes very difficult for cops stationed at traffic circles to do their job,” said Chander.
Police sources confirmed that the vehicle which mowed down constable Ram seemed to have deliberately caused the accident as there was a heated argument which took place between the accused driver and Ram.
Former joint commissioner of police (traffic) Satyendra Garg also survived an accident in 2012 while patrolling the entry of heavy vehicles at the Delhi Noida Direct (DND) flyover.
A compensation of Rs. 20 lakh is given to the families of officials who lose their lives while on duty from the martyr’s fund of the Delhi Police along with additional benefits from the Delhi Police welfare society.