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Five road accident deaths, 2,268 drunk drivers caught by Delhi Police on Holi

Five deaths occurred even as the police prosecuted 12,626 motorists for various offences, down from 13,726 drivers challaned on Holi last year

delhi Updated: Mar 03, 2018 23:07 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times
Holi revelry,accidents,challans
A police team stops the traffic violators for penalty during Holi celebrations near Nehru Place(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

New Delhi: Delhi witnessed five deaths in road accidents on Friday, a day when a large number of traffic police personnel were deployed across the city to prevent drunk or rash driving on the occasion of Holi. Last year, the death count on the festival day had stood at two.

All the five accidents on Friday involved motorcycles or cars, but the dead included two pedestrians rammed by cars, said Garima Bhatnagar, joint commissioner of police (traffic).

The deaths occurred even as the police prosecuted 12,626 motorists for various offences, down from 13,726 drivers challaned on Holi last year. But the number of drunk drivers caught by the police on Friday stood at 2,268, marginally up from 2,190 on the same occasion last year.

The police control room received 14,339 calls about quarrels on the occasion of Holi. The statistics of 24 hours, beginning 6 am on Friday, showed that the PCR received a total of 77,805 calls during that period.

“But 51,621 of them were blank calls. Another 5,211 calls were for enquiries. Distress calls amounted to 20,973 calls. Of these, 14,339 were about quarrels,” said a police spokesperson.

Dependra Pathak, Delhi Police’s chief spokesperson, said special precautions have been taken and large number of policemen on foot deployed in communally sensitive areas on Holi as it coincided with Friday, a day when the Muslim community visit the mosques for prayers.

“We also put up special pickets outside women’s hostels to keep miscreants away. All senior police officers were out in the field,” said Pathak. The officer said Friday saw no Holi-related quarrel turn into an FIR. “In west Delhi’s Vikaspuri, a woman’s father was thrashed by a group of men for asking them to move away from his home. But that was a brawl,” the officer claimed.

Reacting to the fatal accidents, Dependra Pathak, who is also the Delhi Traffic Police chief, said one or two of the five deaths appeared to be related to Holi revelry and others were “more of a coincidence”.

“In one case, a motorcyclist who died in an accident was found drunk. In the other, we would know of the alcohol content in blood only after medical examination. Otherwise, the other fatal accidents could have occurred on any other day and were unrelated to the revelry,” said Pathak.

Two of those accidents occurred between 2 and 4 am on Friday while the other three were reported between 6.45 pm and 8.30 pm. The two fatal accidents on Holi in 2017 were caused by cars.

On an average, four persons were killed in road accidents everyday in Delhi last year. But the Holi day usually sees only a fraction of motorists take to the roads.

But with a large number of traffic policemen deployed on the city’s roads to prevent misadventures by motorists on the festive day, the prosecutions through the day were high at 12,626. The prosecutions fetched a total of ₹13.95 lakh in challan.

“Of the total motorists we caught violating traffic rules, we issued court challans to 2,778 people. We also impounded 1,267 vehicles,” said the joint CP. “The focus was on containing drunk drivers and those riding rashly or without helmets or triple riding,” said the officer.

First Published: Mar 03, 2018 23:07 IST