Helmet rule: 92 challaned on Day 2 in Chandigarh, Akalis to protest from September 15
The traffic police continue with their campaign to raise awareness about the new rules among women.punjab Updated: Sep 07, 2018 12:53 IST
With the UT traffic police continuing to challanwomen two-wheeler riders for not wearing helmet on the second day of implementation of the amended rules, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)and other Sikh bodies in the city have decided to launch protests from September 15.
Hardeep Singh Buterla, president of the SAD’s local unit, said a delegation had submitted a memorandum at the Governor House to seek scrapping of the July 6 notification and aide-de-camp to the governor KB Singh had even assured them that challaning would be put on hold till September 15.
But they backtracked on this decision, he said, adding that the delegation was later told that the memorandum has been sent to the Union home ministry and it would take 10 days for a reply.
“We have decided to wait for 10 days, following which we will hold protests from September 15,” he said.
Awareness drive continues too
Meanwhile, the traffic police on Thursday continued with their campaign to raise awareness about the new rules among women, but even challaned the offenders at two nakas in the evening.
At the Attawa Chowk, 72 challans were issued, while at Sector 11, 20 violators were fined.
The traffic cops were joined by volunteers from Rotaract Club, who distributed helmets among women as part of the awareness campaign.
UT senior superintendent of police (SSP, traffic) Shashank Anand said: “We are also continuing with the awareness drive as some women are still not aware about the new rules regarding helmets. However, after September 15, the campaign will be called off and challaning drive will be stepped up.”
The bone of contention
On the first day of challaning on Wednesday, police had fined 128 offenders at two nakas set up in the morning at the GMSH Chowk in Sector 16 and the Sector 36/37 light point.
The amended Chandigarh Motor Vehicle Rules exempt only turbaned Sikh women from wearing helmets, unlike the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, where all Sikh women are exempted. Even pillion riders come under the ambit of these rules.
While first-time offenders have to pay up ₹300, the fine gets doubled subsequently.
Sikh bodies have been demanding withdrawal of the notification or at least exemption for women with the surname ‘Kaur’.Even in 1998, the Punjab and Haryana high court had restricted the exemption only to “Sikhs wearing turban while driving”. However, it met with resistance from Sikh bodies and city witnessed protests. Sikh bodies had argued that their tenets forbid the wearing of any cap. In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that states had powers to relax helmet rules in a particular area. Following this, Chandigarh relaxed the norms and exempted all women.
The protest rally flagged off from the Sector-34 gurdwara for the Governor House under the aegis of Chandigarh Samuh Gurdwara Parbandhak Sangathan on Wednesday could not move beyond a few metres as the police barricaded the Sector 33/34 road. After pacifying the protesters, only a delegation was allowed to go to the Governor House to submit the memorandum.
First Published: Sep 07, 2018 12:52 IST