Last Friday , when policemen at the traffic management centre saw their screens come alive with two car passengers and a biker fight on the road near the busy KR Puram junction, they didn’t break up the fight. Instead, they arrested them, picked up the drivers and took them to their law and order counterparts, to be charged and taken to court. The drama was going on in the middle of the road, during peak hour traffic.
“It was around 10am Friday, near the Tin Factory in KR Puram, where heavy traffic flows. They blocked traffic for a long time, so we sent our officers,” said MA Saleem, additional commissioner of police, traffic.
It wasn’t just the traffic pile-up, but also memories of the unfortunate accident last month, Hong Kong resident Jagarthi Haresh Sadhwani, 25, was killed, and her mother Priya suffered serious injuries when their cab hit a Volvo parked on Ballari Road. Jagarthi, training to be a teacher, was returning to Hong Kong for her wedding. It was drizzly and dark around 12.30am Sunday when the bus driver was arguing with the driver of a Santro who had attempted to overtake the bus, and scraped it.Blinded by the rain, the speeding cabbie didn’t notice the bus and drove into it. The driver, Honnesh, 35, escaped with injuries as he was wearing his seatbelt. Honnesh and Priya were rushed to hospital, but Jagarthi didn’t make it.
Traffic blocks of this kind are common in Bengaluru over petty issues – drivers flex their muscles and rage away, inconveniencing road users.
The first arrests for affray -car passengers Tabrez and Latif and bike rider Syed Wahab -were booked under Section 160 of the Indian Penal Code. They spent Friday in court, and paid up a fine of Rs 350 each, for disrupting the morning of fellow commuters.
“We will continue to book such cases of road rage under IPC sections from now on. Apart from 170 odd cameras, we are getting 150 more cameras for surveillance. So we’ll look for such cases and book them,” he added.
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