J&K Traffic police caught motorists by surprise this week after cops launched drive against the bike riders without crash helmets and requisite papers.

At scores of checkpoints across the city, traffic cops intercepted “law violating” bikers in an unprecedented move that saw hundreds of two-wheelers confiscated.

As word about the drive spread, city witnessed fear-stricken riders ‘U-Turning’ at many places to avoid checking. Often, shopkeepers and onlookers on the streets dissuaded the prospective detainees from driving through a particular area where the checking was going on.

“Every year scores of teenagers riding two-wheelers without crash helmets and resorting to pillion lose their precious lives bringing gloom to otherwise happy lives,” a statement from the Traffic Police reads. “This dangerous trend requires to be arrested.”

The drive is the brainchild of new SSP Traffic City, Maqsood-Ul-Zaman who believes it is his “fundamental duty” to enforce laws for the well-being of motorists.

“This is not any new phenomenon,” he told Kashmir Life. “The law has been there for a long time. I am just trying to enforce it to the letter.”

Residents all across the city have been crying hoarse about the severity of the checking and vehicle seizures.

“I have never seen this kind of checking before,” rues Kaisar, a resident of Noor Bagh. “This time around, police have been deployed at places where it is impossible to avoid them. To my observation, they seized some thousand bikes since yesterday.”

Suhail, a resident of Batamaloo had to slink his way through Rajbagh to avoid a getting caught-at near Hari Singh High Street. “Today, they have heightened the security manifolds. This has never happened before.”

Adding to the woes of “law violators”, police have also directed petrol pump dealers to deny them the fuel.

Even though the drive has been apparently launched to prevent the accidental deaths due to bad driving, streets are rife with speculations that police might actually be seizing as many bikes as it could to thwart pro-freedom marches on approaching Eid.

Zaman simply shrugs off this prospect with a casual dismissal. “People can speculate anything. I don’t care.”

Meanwhile, some policemen didn’t shy away from reinforcing popular perception how corruption is indispensable to them in Kashmir.

Riyaz, a student of Kashmir University, was travelling on his way back home yesterday when cops stopped him at Nowhatta chowk. Not able to furnish the original registration documents, police threatened him with a Challan.

“I had attested duplicate copies with me,” he says. “I told them my original copies are at home but they wouldn’t listen. After pleading with them, they simply asked: either go to court tomorrow or lend us Chai (Bribe),” he said. “I had no option as my arguments with them would have landed me in further trouble.”


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