Clamp on VIP car outside Calcutta airport, parking marshal arrested
A parking marshal at Calcutta airport who clamped a car and allegedly shoved the driver after he said it was a VIP vehicle was arrested on Thursday along with the general manager of the agency that manages the parking lot.
Airport officials said the Toyota Innova Crysta, which they said belonged to the Myanmarese consulate in Calcutta, had been parked for 35 minutes in front of the terminal between the arrival gates 4A and 4B.
“We provide special parking passes to consulates, allowing free parking for one car --- but only at the parking lot or the designated space for VIP cars. No vehicle can be parked in front of the terminal for more than three minutes,” a senior airport official said.
For any violation, a marshal deployed by the agency can impose a fine of Rs 400.
The Toyota, with a CC (consulate car) number plate, was parked in front of the terminal from 10.10am till 10.45am, an airport official said.
“The driver was nowhere to be found. The marshal had no choice but to clamp the vehicle,” said Babulal Yadav, general manager of the Delhi-based Mahesh Sunny Enterprises, which operates the parking area.
The Telegraph had earlier reported how government and VIP cars are allowed to park for long periods in front of the terminal with immunity.
Yadav claimed that in the past couple of weeks, his agency had fined 150-odd vehicles and clamped about 40 cars for violating parking rules. “But this was the first VIP car we acted against.”
A team from the airport police station picked up Biswajit Rajvanshi, the parking marshal who had clamped the left front wheel of the Toyota, in front of the terminal on Thursday morning, an officer with the Bidhannagar Commissionerate said.
He said the driver had told Rajvanshi he had a VIP pass and asked him to remove the clamp, but the marshal allegedly refused, insisting he pay the Rs 400 fine first.
“The driver tried to show him the pass and explain his point but Rajvanshi pushed him and threatened to bring in people to beat him up,” the officer said.
“The Central Industrial Security Force personnel manning the gates had to stop the scuffle. They alerted us, after which a team was sent to the spot.”
Another officer said Rajvanshi had told him he had merely been carrying out the orders of the parking agency’s management. Another police team then went to the agency’s office at the parking lot and picked up Yadav.
An officer said that Yadav and Rajvanshi had been charged with criminal intimidation and common intent. The sections being bailable, both were released on bail on Thursday evening.
Earlier this month, some Trinamul leaders had stopped the agency from working, refusing to allow personnel it had got from north India to join duty on the ground that they were taking away local jobs.
The Airports Authority of India had to seek help from the chief minister’s office to settle the matter.