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‘Shaheed’ is not the solution; Need police reforms

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The state government can’t wash off its hands by simply according martyr status to deceased Vilas Shinde says Uddhav Thackeray.

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray attacked the Fadnavis government for its failure to provide security to traffic constables on duty. The death of traffic constable Vilas Shinde has raised questions about the safety of traffic constables who have to face the ire of motorists who violate traffic laws. Uddhav said that the state government can’t wash off its hands by simply according martyr status to deceased Shinde and it should take responsibility for enhancing their security. Already traffic cops are undergoing severe stress due to long working hours and rising pollution while discharging their duties.

The family of Shinde and wives of other policemen had met Uddhav at his Matoshree residence in Bandra. They demanded that the government must take stringent action against accused responsible for attacking traffic cops on duty. They added that the government must take this matter seriously as incident of assault on constables have been increasing. Uddhav gave a patient hearing to cops wives and assured them that he will take steps to provide justice to them. The Sena chief along with cops wives are expected to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on September 7 to raise the issue of rising attacks on traffic cops.

He said, “The attacks on traffic cops is a serious matter and sets a bad precedent in Maharashtra. The morale of police too takes a severe beating if attacks continue against them. Such incidents never used to occur earlier. The men who maintain law and order in the city are being attacked by motorists flouting traffic rules. The government must take initiative to reform the police force. Youth don’t cooperate with cops when they ask them to furnish documents.”

The cops wives also met MNS Chief Raj Thackeray at his residence Krishna Kunj demanding action to be taken against accused responsible for attacking constable Shinde. They demanded that the accused must be awarded death penalty. Raj assured that he will look into this matter. Earlier Thackeray had threatened to hold demonstrations if the accused is granted bail.

“Traffic police are responsible for ensuring smooth flow of traffic and penalise violators. However, if cops themselves are being attacked how will they discharge their duties amicably? Attacks on cops have been increasing of late and hence the government must intervene in this matter,” said Raj Thackeray.

After Shinde’s death Mumbai police have withdrawn all cops from petrol pumps across the city. Even petrol pump owners confirmed that cops are not visible at fuel stations after August 31. The traffic department nonetheless denied that the decision has nothing to do with Shinde’s death. Around 208 cops have been attacked in four and half years.

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