On Wednesday when Ludhiana commissioner of police Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh gave premature retirement to three traffic cops for challaning a Sikh woman in defiance of his order, nearly half of the cops who attended a briefing convened by him in the evening were drunk. As per the commissioner, 20% of the cops didn’t attend the meeting and about 30% of the men in the traffic wing comprising 254 personnel were physically unfit.
The commissioner ordered a major reshuffle in the department on Thursday, transferring almost all the staff posted with the traffic wing elsewhere. He also reduced the strength of the traffic wing in city by 60% to ‘streamline traffic through self-policing’.
The commissioner also ordered that no cop will be deployed in the traffic wing for more than a year. Also, those aged 40 and above will not be posted with the traffic wing, he said. He also abolished the post of traffic munshi with a duty officer, who will an assistant sub-inspector level officer and at least a graduate, assisted by a constable.
‘Call was made to DGP to defame me’
The commissioner said a call was made to the DGP (law and order) by ‘someone’ from within the police department informing him that “I had ordered that Sikh women should be challaned”. He said challaning a Sikh woman two-sheeler rider for not wearing a helmet was a well-planned conspiracy to defame him by creating a controversy on the basis of religion. The commissioner had ordered that no challans be issued in Ludhiana for the next one month.
“It was a well planned attempt to defame me by creatinga controversy and giving it a religious colour,” he said. He, however, said he was reconsidering his ‘no-challan’ order.
Those given premature retirement on Wednesday were: ASIs Kulwinder Singh, Davinder Singh and head constable Neel Kanth.
To prevent crime against women, the commissioner has formed two all-woman teams to check eve teasing and harassment of women.