Police arrest 3 SMC officials for ‘assaulting’ Traffic policemen, demolishing booth

‘They kidnapped a traffic cop in car after creating ruckus’ ;SMC suspends 2 officials
The tussle started when the SMC officials demolished the booth of Traffic police.
The tussle started when the SMC officials demolished the booth of Traffic police. Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Three officials of Srinagar Municipal Corporation were arrested for allegedly assaulting Traffic cops and demolishing their booth near LD Hospital here today.

Reports said SMC and Traffic cops exchanged heated arguments during an anti-encroachment demolition drive near LD hospital.

The tussle started when the SMC officials demolished the booth of Traffic police.

Taking strong objection to this, Traffic police officials directed to cease vehicle of SMC involved in demolition of the booth without any prior notice.

“We are here to do our job, and we are also government employees. You have put up the structure at the wrong place, and it has to be dismantled. We are not here to argue, and we won’t care about your dictates,” a official of SMC shouted at the Traffic cops present on the spot.

The Traffic cops said that the SMC officials dismantled the booth that houses their equipment without any notice.

“You have some personal motive against us. Otherwise there are vendors and other shopkeepers but you did not do anything to them. We will cease your vehicle as it is without papers. You also broke our equipment which will have consequences,” said a Traffic police officer to the SMC officials.

Both sides were seen pushing each other while indulging in a heated argument as the locals witnessed these unusual scenes.

While giving details of the event, a senior traffic officer said that the issue started in morning, when the traffic personnel deployed near LD challaned a private vehicle which happened to be of some SMC official. The vehicle, as per him, had no HSRP number plate.

“The officer had told the cops that he would teach them a lesson after he was challaned. After an hour, a team of SMC reached the spot with a JCB and dismantled the traffic booth. Not only this, but after the argument, SMC employees came back and were looking for the cop involved in challan of their officer’s vehicle. The even picked up a traffic cop in their vehicle. Later concerned police officials had to intervene. The situation turned embarrassing due to sheer unprofessionalism, and it is unfortunate this happened,” said the Traffic police officer. . 

An official from SMC, who wished not to be named, said that police intervened and multiple SMC employees who were involved in the incident were detained, and also FIR was registered.

Meanwhile, police, in a statement, said that an FIR has been registered against three SMC employees at the Shergari Police station.

“An incident has come to notice wherein one SMC employee aggrieved by challan on not having HSRP came back and broke a traffic booth with others, later assaulted traffic personnel on duty. In this regard, FIR has been registered in Shergari PS against 3 delinquent SMC employees,” Srinagar Police tweeted.

Later the police in a statement said that all three employees have been formally arrested in the case. “All three (3) accused have been formally arrested in the case after legal formalities. The three had also kidnapped the traffic personnel in a car after creating ruckus. FIR No 06/2023 stands registered in shergari PS,” Police said.

“Ward officer, anti-encroachment officer, and three other employees were called to the police station. Till I checked last, they were not released,” said another SMC official.  When contacted, the SMC commissioner did not respond to multiple calls from this reporter.

Meanwhile, two SMC officials have been placed under suspension. “Whereas, it has come to the notice of competent authority that Niyaz Ahmad Gabroo I/C Ward Officer Ward No. 30 and Ovais Farooq Khan Tax Assistant Ward 30 have indulged in a conduct, which is unbecoming on part of a civil servant. Pending enquiry into the matter Niyaz Ahmad Gabroo I/C Ward Officer Ward No. 30 and Ovais Farooq Khan Tax Assistant Ward 30 are put under suspension with immediate effect and shall remain attached in the office of Secretary, Srinagar Municipal Corporation,” reads a suspension order issued by Joint Commissioner SMC.

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