Anna wave: Flouting of traffic norms common sight

Flouting of traffic rules has become a common sight during the Anna Hazare protest for the last one week.

New Delhi: Flouting of traffic rules
including triple riding on motorbikes without helmets has
become a common sight in the city during the Anna Hazare
protest for the last one week with police refraining from
taking any action to avoid confrontation.

Apart from protest hot spots like Ramlila Maidan, India
Gate and Jantar Mantar, some of the protesters carrying the
tricolour, wearing head-bands and Gandhi caps could be seen in
places like metro stations, important traffic junctions and
markets flouting rules and creating inconvenience to the
common man.

"Safe driving has become a challenge in last one week as
some of the protesters try to block traffic suddenly. You see
so many doing triple riding on motorbikes waving the
tricolour as if they do not care about rules. Is this how we
should respect our national flag by flouting rules?" said
31-year-old Sarita, an IT professional who drives from Dwarka
to Connaught Place.

When asked why no action was being taken against those
violating rules, a senior police official, who does not want
to be identified, said their hands were "tied".

"The scene is like a mob is against administration and we
cannot do anything. Instructions are that we should not create
`Anna versus Police` or `Protesters versus Police` scenes.

"The moment we take action, it will backfire as the
protesters are saying that the police are corrupt. We are
aware of the violations on the streets. But the moment we stop
a vehicle for triple riding or traffic signal jumping, the
riders are talking that we have stopped them for money. It is
a mob mentality," he alleged.

Apart from violating traffic rules, some of the protesters
are creating a lot of inconvenience to metro travelers.

"I could not enter the New Delhi metro station as the
passage was blocked by a group of people claiming to be Anna
supporters. I am against corruption but I am concerned about
the way these protesters are behaving," said 22-year-old
Madhuri who wanted to board a metro to Jahangirpuri.

Madhuri is among many girls of her age who feel unsafe
because of the possibility of presence of some rowdy elements
among the protesters even though they feel strongly about the
cause of Hazare.

"I am a strong supporter of Annaji but we should keep in
mind the convenience of the common man for whom he is
fighting," said 30-year-old Priti from Dilshad Garden.

"Why cannot the protesters remain in Ramlila Maidan, the
designated venue for the agitation," said 40-year-old Ramesh
Gupta from Janakpuri.

Asked about people being inconvenienced by the supporters
at the New Delhi metro station, a DMRC spokesman said the
authorities have set up two additional counters and deployed
extra staff to cater to the needs.

"Additional security personnel have also been deployed.
We are trying our best to handle the situation."


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