Increasingly, policemen are coming under attack in the city. Of the 29 cases of assault on public servants registered until July, as many as 22 involved policemen and most of them were from traffic police, say sources.
The hazardous nature of a traffic policeman’s work was highlighted recently when the video of a head constable being driven on the bonnet of a car became viral on the social networking sites.
On a complaint from head constable Dharamvir, who was lucky enough to escape alive, the police slapped the charge of attempt to murder on the car driver.
A senior officer said that traffic policemen often get hurt during checking of vehicles. A driver is asked to stop, he does not and instead tries to drive away, injuring the policeman. Sometimes, errant drivers start fighting with a lone policeman and even assault him.
SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill said, “In all such cases, charges are imposed according to the gravity of the situation and the injury to the complainant official.’’
As many as 15 cases were registered from 2011 to 2013 in which the charges included attempt to murder. Of these, five cases are under trial, in four the accused were acquitted, in five the accused were convicted and one case remains untraced.
Among the cases where trial is on is one in which 30 persons, including Punjab Youth Congress president Ravneet Singh Bittu, were arrested after a rally near the Beant Singh memorial in Sector 42, in March 2010.
In March last year, the UT Police had approached the Chandigarh Administration to request the courts to refer all cases of assault on police officials to fast-track courts.
An official said that in order to protect policemen, the traffic nakas, where most of the incidents happen, have been made tighter so that no one can escape, even if that means drivers have to wait in queues for long.
Cases from recent history
April 6: Driver of a Fortuner, Gurpreet Singh, was arrested a few days after he broke a naka laid near the Laxmi Narayan temple on the dividing road of sectors 44 and 45. Gunshots were fired to stop him, but he managed to escape.
July 4: Head constable Parminder Singh posted at a drunken driving naka laid on the dividing road of sectors 35 and 36 was injured as he approached an SUV to check the documents and ask the driver to blow in the alco-meter. The accused sped away, leaving Singh injured.
August 10: Aftab Singh and Karambir Singh were arrested for dragging constable Devinder Singh on his car for nearly half a kilometre when signalled to stop for driving while talking on mobile. The video of the incident went viral on WhatsApp.
August 10: Jagjeet Singh, driver of a Skoda car, along with Pardeep quarrelled with an Inspector of Chandigarh Traffic Police while he was on naka duty. Both accused were arrested and also challaned for traffic violations at the Modella light point.
August 11: The police booked Rahul Kumar who injured a traffic police head constable with his motorcycle in Sector 34 last Monday. Head constable Om Prakash had signalled Kumar to stop as he was not wearing a helmet, but Kumar tried to escape, injuring Om Parkash.