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Maha governor warns cops against stepping on toes of the disabled

Order issued by the governor tells policemen commuting with arrested persons in locals not to board compartments reserved for physically challenged people

Policemen boarding compartments reserved for physically challenged persons and cancer patients in the city’s locals while commuting with arrested suspects will be rapped on the knuckles if they continue doing so.

Activists say cops only resort to stepping on reserved compartments because of the rush in general bogeys. File pic
Activists say cops only resort to stepping on reserved compartments because of the rush in general bogeys. File pic

A notice issued to the police force by the order of Governor K Sankaranarayanan states that strict action will be taken against cops found travelling in this manner. It mentions that the resolution was arrived at following a discussion led by the social welfare minister on August 27, 2013.

Activist Nitin Gaikwad said, “I have been fighting against this practice for two years, but no stringent action has been taken by the police department. It is the right of the disabled to travel in reserved compartments.” He added, “Only recently I witnessed a cop commuting in a reserved compartment with a person he had arrested.”

Gaikwad said that in November 2013, a Pune-based court for the disabled issued an order to former Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh, expressing concern over the issue, after which Singh ordered his men to stop travelling with suspects via reserved compartments.

Another activist, Sameer Zaveri, who lost his legs while commuting by train, said, “These cops should be booked under section 155 (entering into a reserved compartment or resisting entry into a compartment not reserved) of the Indian Railway Act and fined, because there is no other option to stop this.”

Zaveri has been critical of GRP officials for repeatedly breaching the norm, saying only because they find it difficult to travel by general compartments with many multiple accused, they opt to board reserved compartments.

It’s not for comfort: Cops
Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Devraj (GRP) said, “Sometimes cops do travel in reserved compartments but only for checks. However, commuters feel that they are travelling for their own comfort. In relation to cops travelling with arrested persons, I haven’t read this specific notice yet, and I wouldn’t like to comment on things I am not aware of.”

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