Mob attacks 3 traffic cops over ‘death of 32-yr-old biker’
A video of a mob raining blows on three traffic police officers alleging that the cops tried to stop a motocycle that resulted in the death of a 32-year-old man on Monday night, was widely shared on social media
A video of a mob raining blows on three traffic police officers alleging that the cops tried to stop a motocycle that resulted in the death of a 32-year-old man on Monday night, was widely shared on social media. The attack took place after Devaraj and pillion rider Suresh fell near a traffic police checkpost on Mysuru’s Ring Road. Devaraj died on the spot.
Mysuru police claimed that Devaraj died after hitting a lorry and not because of the enforcement drive. “The three police personnel who were attacked by the mob are two assistant sub-inspectors and one government driver. Three of them have filed three separate FIRs on the case,” said officials of Mysore city police station.
The entire incident has triggered a conversation over police’s enforcement tactics and attacks from the public.
Rohan Menezes, a graphics designer with a multinational firm said that he suffered injuries after he fell off the motorcycle near Ulsoor Lake, in January during a traffic police check. “They were on the other side of a right turn, and as soon as I took a right turn, a trafficpoliceman jumped in front of me. I lost control and fell off the bike. I got scratches on my hand. The policemen helped me, but when I asked why they had to resort to such guerrilla methods, they didn’t respond,” he said.
While contactless traffic enforcement has been pitched as a solution to avoid such conflicts, cops say it came with its own problems. Bengaluru police have been using cameras to capture traffic management for a while now and issue challans.
“People were ignoring the challans issued to them. So, last year we began a drive to collect these fines by going to the violator’s home. The drive didn’t give the desired results. With more than ₹390 crore worth of fines, we have no options but conduct random vehicle checking across the city,” said Ravikante Gowda, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said.
A retired Director General of Police (DGP), who didn’t want to be named said that problem was not just with the traffic police. “Even though the department denies it, there are targets given for fine collections, which often results in conflicts with the public. The manpower and effort deployed for fine collection in Bengaluru, especially when traffic gridlocks are common, sends a wrong message. While three to four policemen are deployed for fine collections, some of the busiest get just lone policemen,” he said.
He, however, added that problem was not limited to the police. “If you look at the road you will see so many people riding without helmets, jumping the signal etc. So, there is a need for enforcement, but it doesn’t require traffic policemen standing at vantage points and jumping in front of vehicles,” he added.