Senior citizens or children trying to cross Patna streets amid busy traffic saw the humane side of men in uniform on Tuesday.
Traffic police personnel in different parts of the capital helped the elderly and the young ones cross the roads and even stopped the traffic flow at times to ensure a smooth passage for them. The personnel have been directed to stop vehicles if they spot children or the elderly waiting on roadsides to cross over, in an attempt to give a people-friendly makeover to the policemen.
The direction from the state police headquarters aims at portraying a pro-people face of the city police, who, at present, are drawing flak from various quarters because of the soaring crime graph.
“According to the director-general of police (DGP)’s directive, the traffic policemen posted at different areas, especially the roundabouts, would personally take the initiative and help old people and children cross the streets. Traffic is usually very heavy at the roundabouts most of the day. It becomes very difficult for children and the senior citizens to cross the roads. So, the constables and other traffic officers in the field have been directed to help them,” a police officer said.
He said the cops have been asked to personally ensure that traffic is stopped for a moment to allow children and senior citizens cross the roads. “This will portray a people-friendly face of the police,” the officer said.
DGP Abhayanand has asked the traffic superintendent of police (SP) to furnish a detailed report on the number of old people and children helped by the constables.
“All the DSPs and the traffic SP have been directed to oversee the programme and keep an account of the number of people being helped each day. Around 10 elderly people were helped to cross the road at Dakbungalow roundabout today (Tuesday). Senior policemen would monitor the status every day,” another police officer said.
Residents were happy at the police’s move, but said their first job should be to improve the law and order scenario.
“It appears to be a good move to gain people’s confidence. But the police have to ensure that the law and order scenario is improved,” retired government teacher Ratnesh Kumar, 68, told The Telegraph.
A number of criminal incidents, some of them against senior citizens, were reported in the city in the past few months. On Monday night, a middle-aged man was shot dead at Sultanganj in Patna City. In another incident, a middle-aged packaged milk seller, Rajkumar, was stabbed to death inside his milk booth at Rajabazaar area under Shastri Nagar police station on Monday night.