Death of youth raises question mark on functioning of traffic police
Four cops suspended; Tawi Bridge blocked for two hours
Will CM listen to his conscience lest more victims fall to death on roads?
JAMMU: Sidharth Matto, a seventh semester engineering student in a Pune college, died on the spot while another young boy got critically injured when one of the traffic cop allegedly caught hold of them and pulled from the motorcycle.
Vishal Wanchoo and his pillion rider Sidharth Matto, now dead, were riding towards Bhagwati Nagar when the traffic cops indulged in dare-devil act of trying to pull Sidharth by shoulder, as a consequence of which the duo lost balance, fell on the road with Sidharth, son of Deepak Mattoo, resident of Shergadi in Srinagar, presently residing in Anand Nagar, Talab Tillo Bohri, getting fatal injury.
The injured Vishal, an off-age and class mate of Sidharth in the Pune College, is struggling for life in the emergency ward of Government Medical College, Hospital. His relatives are more worried for his security because of being the surviving eye witness to what they called brazen and day light ‘Traffic Police’ brutality.
Police has registered an FIR against the traffic cops under Section 304-A CrPC, said City SP Shiv Kumar Singh Chouhan adding that investigations have been set in motion. He told STATE TIMES that though the traffic police can signal violators to stop but physical contact is against the norms.
Sensing trouble and showing sensitivity to the enormity of the ‘brutality’, four cops Inspector Kulbir Singh, Constables Mushtaq Ahmed, Parvinder Kumar and Girdhari Lal have been placed under suspension, till inquiry, according to SSP Traffic Mohan Lal. He told STATE TIMES that Dy Superintendent of Police, Traffic, South Jammu Gouri Shankar has been appointed Enquiry Officer to look into the episode.
Hiding of traffic cops on isolated sites to pounce on their prowl is a common sight in Jammu. The mid-noon accident raises questions as to whether the role of men in blue is only to lay nakas for checking vehicles for obvious reasons or to regulate traffic on maddening Jammu roads. On the one hand, the huge vehicle population results in frequent jams and on the other, the ‘scarce’ traffic cops remain engaged with pursuits other than regulating the traffic, rued an agitated protester at the site, as the people kept raising slogans against the Traffic Police.
Meanwhile, Locals blocked the Bhagwati Nagar Tawi Bridge on Friday evening demanding action against the traffic cops. They sought immediate arrest of the cops while describing the so-called accident as murder. Raising anti-police slogans, the protesters burnt tyres and disrupted the vehicles traffic on the bridge for over two hours.
Senior police officers assured the protesters of impartial inquiry into the incident. They were also informed that traffic inspector and three cops have been placed under suspension.