Cops a regular target of abuse in Mumbai

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 10 April 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Several MLAs attacking a traffic police sub-inspector, Sachin Suryawanshi, is not the only case in the city. The traffic police, say statistics, have become the victim of Mumbaikars. In the last two years, 83 cases of assault on traffic police personnel were registered, resulting into the arrest of 100 offenders. These cases also include assault on some women personnel.

The data provided by the city traffic police state that in the 83 cases, 39 police personnel suffered injuries that needed treatment at hospital. Ironically, for a city with a population of over 15 million, there are merely 3,133 traffic cops, 330 of them women. Concerned, the traffic police department has distributed service guns to women cops besides training them in karate. "There have been cases of assault, use of abusive language, misbehaviour, snatching of cops' caps and starring at women constables too," a traffic inspector said.

The traffic police sources said that the city has just 3,133 traffic cops for its 15 million strong population. During 2011-12, 20% assaults on traffic cops took place between Kalbadevi and Pydhonie. Police personnel said that the most traumatic situation is that when they face taunts, abuse, threat of being run over, and ogling by bikers. The city police had earlier decided to book such offenders under a law that entails jail for up to a year without bail.

A senior traffic inspector said, "Sometimes, we lodge complaints with police, but our focus is on keeping the traffic moving. If we argue with every mischievous person, then who will do our job? We are concerned about the city's traffic and focus only on our duty." Another officer said that "Young bikers mostly threaten to knock down police personnel and then speed away. Sometimes, they snatch cops' caps and taunt them. When we nab the culprits and try to take them to the nearest police station, often a mob gathers and supports the culprit. We have reported such cases to seniors." The police are now considering booking such attackers under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, 1981 which entails a jail term of three to 12 months without bail.

In October 2012, two attacks on traffic constables were reported. While a traffic cop, Nandkumar Bankar, was assaulted by four people after he told a driver to stop as he was driving in the wrong direction on the Western Express Highway near Kandivli, Maruti Padwal, also a constable, was thrashed for demanding the licence of a biker who jumped a signal in Andheri. Two people were arrested in the Bankar case, while the biker had tried to run over Padwal at the Durga Nagar junction.

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