A recent video of a traffic cops asking for bribe is doing rounds on social media sites. But the incident is not an isolated one. In the minute long video, seemingly shoot with a mobile phone, the traffic cop sitting in front seat of car asks the driver that he will be photographed and chalaaned for wearing a ‘Pheran’.
“I will photograph you, attach it with the Chalaan, and will send it to the judge. I will tell him (Judge) that he is driving an LP (long platform) truck wearing a Pheran,” the officer warns the driver.
The driver, not seen in the video, tells him in the rundown tone that this is just an excuse as all other documents are correct and complete.
“We are friends with you (drivers). Why should we fine you? You pass once or twice in a month from here,” the officer declares with clear induction that he doesn’t want to fine the driver.
With this, the person accompanying driver and who is shooting the video, out of cop’s gaze, takes out a currency note from his wallet and hands it over to him.
The video ends as the cop tosses note on dashboard of his car and lets the driver go without even looking at him.
The video was shared on social media sites over thousands of times in just last twenty four hours, much to the embarrassment of the traffic department.
After facing public shame, officials of Traffic Police confirmed that the erring cop has been identified and placed under suspension.
“The video is embarrassing,” said a top cop, “and inquiry has also been initiated against the cop.”
However, for the drivers, particularly driving trucks this is part of their life.
Mohammad Maqbool, who drives a truck since last twenty years, says, from a Srinagar to Delhi journey one has to pay bribe to traffic cops at more than a dozen places.
“Everyone knows what traffic cops do, particularly on the highway, but no one is ready to take action,” says Maqbool, “because they share what they collect with the top officials who then share it with their higher-ups.”
At the main spots along highway, only those police officials are posted who have good political patronage, says a, DSP rank official who was transferred from a highway town of southern part of Kashmir after he allegedly failed to pay share on monthly bases to a ruling party leader.
“Another one agreed to the neta’s deal and within days he was posted at the same place,” the cop who has now been transferred to a far-flung area alleges.
“Now what will you expect from the cops on ground and from this two-star traffic cop in the video, when everyone else in the system is fixed in deal.”
– Aaksah Hassan