The Telegraph
Friday , January 10 , 2014
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Campaign against red beacon misuse

- SC ruling being flouted in Meghalaya, claims civil society group; glare on Lokayukta amendments

Shillong, Jan. 9: Irked by the blatant abuse of power, a civil society group today announced the launch of the “red beacon campaign”.

Thma U Rangli (TUR), a group led by social activist Angela Rangad, is of the opinion that in Meghalaya, the Supreme Court ruling on the use of red beacons has not been followed in letter and spirit.

“We urge the citizens to click photographs of vehicles using the red beacon, and file complaints before the police,” Rangad appealed.

In December last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that only constitutional authorities were entitled to the privilege of using red beacons.

Constitutional authorities include the President, Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, governors, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court judges and the heads of both houses of Parliament.

The court asked the Centre and state governments to furnish the list of authorities, who are entitled to use the red beacon within a period of three months. It said emergency vehicles and police jeeps should be assigned blue beacons.

In Meghalaya, even vehicles bearing private registration use the red beacon, the symbol of power, with impunity.

Besides blaring sirens, these vehicles with red beacons travel at lightning speed. But no one has an idea whether the actual user of such “privileges” is entitled to such rights.

Rangad said abuse of power and public funds was just another form of “corruption”.

“If you see a vehicle with a red beacon going to the market, please click a picture, and release it to the media. Citizens can also directly contact us for any assistance,” she said.

The social activist said the campaign was only to help implement the Supreme Court ruling.

On Tuesday, while replying to a query, chief minister Mukul Sangma did not mince words when he said there were politicians who resort to “populist strategies” by refusing to occupy bungalows or utilise the red beacon.

“Different people adopt different approaches to governance. I need not tell my colleagues that we should only replicate somebody else’s approach to governance, because I believe not in rhetoric, but in actual demonstration of our commitment and resolve to serve the people and take the state forward,” Sangma had said.

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