Bhubaneswar, Dec. 3: Police arrested a veterinary doctor for allegedly beating up a traffic constable at AG Square this morning when the cop stopped the medico, who was on a motorcycle, for not wearing a helmet.
Veterinarian Udaybhanu Rout, 48, who is posted in Balangir, was produced before court this evening and sent to jail following rejection of his bail plea.
The injured traffic constable, Soumendra Kumar Patra, who suffered injuries on his left cheek, eyelid and left elbow, said he stopped Rout when he had seen him riding a motorcycle without a helmet.
AG Square has been declared a “zero tolerance zone” since May 9 last year to curb rampant traffic rule violations. Since then, the violators have to pay a minimum of Rs 500 at this square.
“As my senior was busy, I stopped the motorcyclist for not wearing a helmet. But he did not stop and was about to run me over when I took the key out. He was furious and used abusive language before punching me on the face,” said Patra.
The incident took place around 11.45am at the square. The constable was rushed to Capital Hospital for treatment. The doctor was taken into custody following a complaint by the victim at Capital police station. The police also seized the two-wheeler of the accused.
“We have got a complaint regarding the doctor’s misdemeanour and booked him for beating a public servant, injuring him and trying to deter him from carrying out his duties,” said inspector in charge of Capital police station Aseem Panda.
Reacting to this incident, a local resident said poor interaction between the traffic policemen and the public, coupled with the lack of awareness among the people about rules, were to be blamed for such incidents.
On October 11, a traffic constable beat up a truck driver near Palasuni on NH-5 for allegedly violating traffic rules.
On August 27, the assistant commissioner of police, traffic, Binod Das, beat up an autorickshaw driver at Vani Vihar Square. The incident sparked tension among autorickshaw drivers, who demonstrated in front of his office.
Residents said people said policemen, instead of focusing on their primary activities of traffic control and law enforcement, harassed people in the name of collecting fines.
“The city police, particularly traffic personnel, have become money oriented… They deal very harshly with the common people,” said Purnima Nag, a state government employee, who stays at Baramunda.
“Earlier, the police conducted awareness campaigns, which used to yield good results and people co-operated with them. Lately, the police have minimised their interaction with the public,” said Maqbul Ali, a road safety activist.