BLUNT BUTCHER / ANCHOR
JAMMU: “Today afternoon, (a) young man, who claimed that his name is Mr Angad and that he is an IPS officer’s son, was driving his audi car (CH01BK/7900) backward on the main road in front of the Police Headquarters. He almost barged into my official vehicle.
Since he knew me, I asked him politely to give his paper to the Traffic Cops. Instead of listening to my genuine request, he misbehaved with me and tried to drop names (his father and father-in-law) and started creating a scene.
He knew that I am the present IG Traffic, J&K. Please take appropriate action against him. The Traffic Cops, deployed there are the witnesses”.
This is a letter from Basant Kumar Rath, Inspector General of Police, Traffic, J&K Jammu to SHO Gandhinagar, Jammu.
This letter could have been only from IGP Basant, given his reputation as an upright and daring officer. By the time these columns are before the readers, the letter must have gone viral and expectations risen sky-high. And, all eyes would be on the SHO, who is duty bound to lodge an FIR, unless back channel pressures and pulls work overnight. After all, these days, Jammu and Kashmir Police has developed FIR syndrome, which can be fake, motivated and pressurised. Who knows, like the Shopian case, where FIR was needed to be lodged against attacking stone pelters, it was slapped on Maj Aditya. Therefore, one can only pray that Shopian is not repeated in Gandhinagar Police Station by putting IGP Basant in a dock.
After all spoil brat of politicians, bureaucrats and senior police officers have always been enjoying a definite edge over poor commoners. Had it not been so, an off spring of an ex Director General of Police would not have gone scot-free in a hit and run case on September 25, 2014. The FIR lodged at the concerned police station has not seen the light of the day despite the bereaved family of Inderjeet Padha, a morning-walker and retired Health Department official, preparing for his ‘Choubarsi’. The hush up of the case was because the person sitting behind the wheels of hit and run luxury car Maruti Suzuki SX4,VXI JKO2 BA 4112 was daughter of the chief who killed the pedestrian.
Basant Rath must be in know of all this. He must also be in know of ‘back-channel’ dirty games the high-ups are used to. He must be apprehensive about ‘follow-up’ of his letter to the SHO Gandhinagar. Whatever it may, the daring IGP has caught the imagination of suppressed Jammu people. He will know a day after about the good-will he has earned by acting against some spoiled brat. And, if he continues with similar actions, scope for which is huge given the traffic malady in Jammu and chronic nexus on roads, it will be too difficult for his detractors in the political establishment or police hierarchy to touch him. Daring officers generally become Achilles heel for evil forces and the perpetrators of those patronising dirty nexus.
Basant Rath has many miles to go. He has to break all these nexuses. He will find ‘Mr Angad’ like people roaming in the guise of traffic violating passenger traffic vehicles and others, who care too hoots for anyone because of the ‘haft’ they pay. The malady is much more which will need tones of newsprint to reveal. It will be revealed in the days to come provided Basant Rath carries forward his ‘Mission Save Jammu Roads’.
Having said that, it is gratifying to see an officer acting against the system…Basant Rath has generated a hope. In a split moment he has pushed himself up in the line of decorated police officers, who have maintained the decorum and dignity of their uniforms. He will be remembering all these names which also include 1985 batch IPS officer Rishiraj Singh and the Crane Bedi, who made Kiran Bedi immortal. These two decorated officers were, one way or other connected with streamlining malignant traffic in their areas of jurisdiction.
A no-nonsense officer, an officer transferred on his own consent, having an image larger than life in Kerala, reputation for toughness and always having been on loggerheads with his fellow batch-mates and junior officers, Rishiraj Singh had made seat belts mandatory after Union minister Gopinath Munde died in a car accident while sitting in the rear without a belt. Singh’s decision had upset Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishan. Wearing a lungi, he would travel in a truck as a crew member. Policemen who could not recognise him and took a bribe would be caught red-handed. Jammu expects Basant Rath to move around incognito to find out the traffic malady and nexus in the capital city.
India remembers how 1980 batch IPS officer, Kiran Bedi supported towing away on August 5, 1982, an Ambassador car (DHI1817) belonging to Prime Minister Office by sub-inspector Nirmal Singh, as it was wrongly parked outside the Yusufzai Market at Connaught Place. Overnight she had assumed the name of Crane Bedi. Jammu too expects some daring officer to take lid off the can of worms.
To be continued
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper