An altercation between a traffic marshal and a commuter has led to the suspension of the former after it was alleged that he was taking a bribe from the person driving a car. Traffic marshal Gurpreet Singh,aged 34,was on naka duty at Sector 30-32 dividing road on the night of June 10. He was suspended by DSP South on the same night after the complainant Vijay Kumar alleged that Singh asked Kumar for Rs 200 after being stopped at a naka. Singh,however has rebutted the allegations claiming he has been falsely implicated.
Traffic marshals are citizen volunteers who help the traffic police in their enforcement drives and are trained to challan traffic offenders. The concept was introduced by Chandigarh police in 2004. A badge is also provided to traffic marshals by the traffic department so that the citizens could identify them.
According to Singh,a team of eight police officers including Singh were on naka duty from 10 p.m. to midnight. A white Volkswagen Polo car bearing Haryana registration was stopped as part of routine checks. The driver of the car,Vijay Kumar was asked to undergo an alcohol detection test,but instead he started talking in a rough tone and named a few senior officials with whom he had strong contacts, said Singh.
Singh claimed that finally when Kumar agreed to take the test,the alcohol count was found to be under permissible limit (less than 30 mg). The incident took place at 11.20 p.m.. According to Singh,at midnight,a wireless message from the control room was received asking the duty officers not to leave their spot. Half an hour later,Surjit Singh Malik,DSP South arrived at the spot along with Vijay Kumar.
Malik asked me whether there was any fight or whether I had asked for a bribe. I replied in the negative, said Singh.
According to Singh,another alcohol detection test was performed on Vijay Kumar. This time the count was 155 mg,way above the permissible limit. Kumar was asked to pay a fine but was allowed to leave with his nephew in the car, said Singh. Sub inspector Subhash Chand who was the naka in-charge was also suspended along with Singh. Sources told Chandigarh Newsline that the first reading of the alcohol detector was allegedly 58 mg while the second was above 150 mg.