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Public-Police Clash Over Violation Of Motor Vehicles Act In Odisha's Capital

07 September 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

Bhubaneswar: Irate public clashed with police at Rajmahal Square in Bhubaneswar on Friday over the implementation of amended Motor Vehicles Act after  traffic personnel deployed for checking vehicles at the junction were not able to produce valid documents of the police vehicle.

Vehicle checking at different points of the city and collection of enhanced penalties under the amended MV Act has vexed the vehicle owners and drivers. During one such checking at Rajmahal Square today the public demanded the traffic cops to show their documents arguing that the law should be same for all.

Situation turned tense and hundreds of locals gheraoed the on-duty traffic personnel. They also stopped  Mo Bus and staged road blockade disrupting vehicular movement on the busy road.

Following it, police force led by Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Kumar Sahoo reached the spot and tried to pacify the mob. Later, as public ransacked a PCR van Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi‏ arrived at the spot with Quick Action Team (QAT) and resorted to lathi-charge.

Briefing mediapersons after the clash, Sarangi asserted that all the police vehicles under Commissionerate Police have valid documents and if the public demands to see the same he will upload the documents on the official website.

Denying the allegations that the police is collecting enhanced penalties from the vehicle owners and drivers, he said, “We are looking into five things — three people riding on motorcycle, wearing helmets, entry from the wrong side, drunk driving and use of mobile phone during driving. Presently, they are not checking any documents and have no intention to harass anyone."

The maximum fine amount now has been fixed as Rs 1,000. But many people are being fined only Rs 500, as was collected under the Urban Police Act prior to implementation of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 from September 1, Sarangi added.

He further clarified that insurance of government vehicles are not done as per any state or national Motor Vehicles Act. Any claim on government vehicles comes under the purview of MACT (Motor Accident Claims Tribunal) and the compensation is borne by the respective government.

Sudhanshu Sarangi‏, Twin City Police Commissioner

Public Reaction