Following the death of Mumbai Traffic Constable Vilas Shinde a week after he was assaulted by two men — one of whom was riding without a helmet — senior officers have gone into a huddle to devise remedial measures to avoid such incidents.
Shinde, who battled for life for more than a week at Lilavati hospital, succumbed to head injuries he sustained after being hit on his head with a wooden plank on August 24.
Senior officers said measures are already in place for constables on the streets to follow to avoid “any confrontation” with motorists in the city.
“We are going to reiterate instructions on how officers should interact with motorists. Training officers in their soft skills or taking down the number of vehicles to avoid a confrontation are some of the techniques devised. Arguments with officials result in violence,” said Milind Bharambe, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
According to data, 20 police personnel have been reported injured on duty so far this year. Last year, 49 officers were reported injured, while in 2015, the figure was 33.
“No matter how pleasantly, we talk, there is still the fear of being assaulted. The attack on Shinde shook us. It is mainly two-wheeler riders who create mayhem on the streets,” said Constable Sanjay Solat, posted in Mankhurd.
Officers said most of the incidents take place at the time of bandobasts (roadblocks).
Inspector Sriram Koregoankar said, “There is always the chance of arguments over traffic violations during bandobast. We have advised our officers to deal with motorists cautiously.”
“The e-challan system and CCTV network will be brought in soon. We want to use technology intensively so that the interface between traffic officers on the roads and the motorists reduce,” said Bharambe.
Meanwhile, two other cases in which police constables were manhandled were reported Thursday. In the first case, a constable in Saki Naka sustained minor injuries after a motorist sped off at a bandobast point. A non-cognizable complaint was registered at VB Nagar police station. The motorist was nabbed.
In the second case, the Colaba police registered a case against the former corporator of Amravati, Ahmed Rehmat Khan, and his driver Rajendra Lohiya, for allegedly abusing a traffic constable. According to the police, constable Rajendra Pawar stopped Khan’s car because it had tinted glasses, and they got into an argument with him.