Minister's security guards arrested for thrashing traffic cop
The traffic policeman was hit with a rifle butt for stopping the minister's cavalcade after it jumped a traffic signal
Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday, 11 September, arrested two personal security guards of power minister Taj Mohiudin for assaulting a traffic police officer who had tried to stop the minister’s cavalcade from jumping a traffic signal. They have been booked for attempt to murder.
The incident took place on Monday, 10 September, evening when Mohiudin was driving down the Maulana Azad Road on his way to his residence at Gupkar. However, near Golf Crossing, the minister’s cavalcade jumped the red light, throwing the traffic in disarray. Sub-inspector Mohan Lal soon swung into action and forced the cavalcade to one side of the road. But once the lights came on, one of the escort drivers halted his vehicle in the middle of the road, blocking traffic and started abusing the traffic cops. Soon the minister’s security personnel got out of their vehicles and started beating the traffic personnel. When Lal tried to pacify them, he was hit with a rifle butt on his cheek and he started to bleed.
“And all this while the minister was witnessing the scene from his car and doing nothing,” Lal told TEHELKA. “He was perhaps happy that his security guards were punishing us (traffic cops) for stopping his cavalcade.”
However, Taj said that he was unaware of what was happening on the road. He also declined that his vehicle had jumped the light. “I was already out of sight. I didn’t know that my guards were having an argument with the traffic police,” Taj said. “I came to know about the incident after an hour."
Lal, however, denies that the minister had crossed the signal and went ahead. “No, he was there. He was watching the scene from his car,” Lal said.
Lal said that even Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the Director General of Police Ashok Prasad stop at traffic signals. “The minister cannot be an exception. And if he thinks he is an exception then who is supposed to follow the law,” Lal said. “I was only doing my duty.”
The traffic lights are a new thing in Srinagar. They were installed early this year. However, the traffic department faced little difficulty in getting people used to them. The CM and the senior government functionaries have made it a point to stop at the lights, despite some apprehensions in the security establishment that militants could target VVIPs during their halt at these signals.
Riyaz Wani is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.