A day after having pulled up three senior officers of Chandigarh Police for having allowed motorbike stunts in a rally to promote road safety,Inspector General of Police R P Upadhyaya on Tuesday said that the UT Police would have to undo the damage caused by the event through public awareness campaigns in the city. The IG also underlined that strong action would be taken against errant officers responsible for the damage and that such events would not be allowed in future.
A detailed meeting was held today with all the DSPs and the Inspectors of the traffic branch. A discussion was held to find ways to undo the damage done by allowing stunts in the rally. We will be organising public awareness campaigns in the city to promote road safety and will discourage citizens from performing any dangerous stunts in public area, Upadhyaya told Chandigarh Newsline. We will ensure that such activities are not allowed to take place in future.
On Monday,the Inspector General had shot off a sharply worded letter to Deputy Inspector General of Police Alok Kumar,Senior Superintendent of Police Naunihal Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary,asking them to explain how the Chandigarh Police allowed the display of dangerous stunts in public area while promoting road safety.
The car and bike rally comprising 93 super-bikes and rally motorcycles,and 163 super-cars,luxury cars and rally cars showcased stunts by trained professionals on August 11,drawing flak as many people felt that it would inspire youngsters to perform such dangerous stunts.
Upadhyaya had also raised concern over the presentation of stunts in public area being illegal.
Endorsing the IGs view,Karan Dev Sharma,a lawyer practising at Chandigarh district courts,said,Under the Motor Vehicle Act,it is illegal to perform stunts in a public area.
Trained professionals had performed stunts on motorbikes at Leisure Valley,Sector 10 a public place. One has to promote an event in consonance with its theme. Rather than showing fancy cars and bikes,the Chandigarh police should have attempted to educate on pillion riding and the significance of wearing helmets, added Sharma.
Deprecating the increasing trend of youth performing stunts on roads,president of PUTA Khalid Mohammed said,The very purpose of the Chandigarh Police to promote road safety has been defeated. If stunts like these are encouraged among youngsters,then it would only lead to a problem for commuters.
Deepak Kumar Singh,chairperson,Department of Political Science at Panjab University,said the police conveyed the message in a wrong way. It was a welcome move by the police but it was obnoxious to allow stuntmen to educate commuters. Chandigarh lacks a traffic-obeying culture which cannot develop by a single event. A more systematic approach is required in order to make citizens aware of road safety, added Singh.
However,one of the members of Team A2B that performed stunts during the event clarified that stunts were performed wearing protective gear. The stunts were performed in a controlled environment and all the five members of our team had worn protective gear. In fact,senior police officers had even checked our safety gear before allowing us to perform the stunts, said Rahul,a member of A2B.