Office of the senior superintendent of police in Sakchi. Picture by Bhola Prasad
There seem to be too many mediapersons and policemen whizzing on wheels in Jamshedpur, if the ‘police’ or ‘press’ stickers on vehicles are any indication.
Concerned over the overwhelming number of vehicles sporting these stickers, East Singhbhum district police is gearing up to crack down on fake users soon after Diwali. Once the drive starts, those with special stickers will be asked to produce ID cards. If the persons concerned can’t, they will be prosecuted.
Normally, police officers don’t check vehicles with ‘press’ and ‘police’ stickers. That’s why sometimes, those with criminal records and arms stashed in cars use these stickers to hoodwink authorities, while others use them as an eyewash to get away without helmets or licence papers.
Superintendent of police (city) M. Tamil Bannan said the trend had been worrying law enforcers.
“Many criminals and people with a dubious record evade vehicle checks by using ‘press’ and ‘police’ stickers. Men in uniform do not want to indulge in unnecessary arguments with people sporting the stickers. So this has become a convenient ruse for many to avoid the long arm of law. But our drive will put an end to such foul play,” Bannan told The Telegraph.
The senior officer added that they had convened a special meeting of police officers assigned to carry vehicle checks, categorically briefing them that they must ask anybody using the sticker to produce a valid ID card.
“If anyone fails to show the necessary identification, the police officer concerned will immediately rip off the sticker from the vehicle and then prosecute the person for cheating the police,” he said.
But he added that the police would spare known mediapersons.
“I must mention that persons who are employed in a media house but not in its editorial sections can’t sport a ‘press’ sticker,” he said.
Similarly, even genuine policemen can’t just slap on a ‘Police’ sticker on their privately owned vehicles.
“Only those vehicles that officially belong to the department can sport the stickers,” the officer clarified.
The police have earmarked 10 checkpoints in Jamshedpur for vehicles to see whether drivers are violating norms ranging from ferrying arms to driving without papers or not wearing helmets.
They include Jugsalai roundabout, Baug-e-Jamsheed roundabout in Bistupur, Golmuri roundabout, Kadma-Sonari Link Road near Kadma post-office, Parsudih market in Parsudih and near Shitla Mandir in Sakchi.