Police vehicles flouting rules in India is not uncommon. But what’s really uncommon is a police vehicle being fined for a traffic violation. Guess who was fined for parking in a no parking area? Well, it was no less than the Hyderabad police commissioner, who was fined for parking his official Toyota Fortuner SUV in a no-parking area.
The Hyderabad police issued this traffic fine after a journalist tweeted a photo of the police commissioner’s Toyota Fortuner being parked in a no-parking area. Here’s the tweet, and Hyderabad police’s reponse to the same. The fine has already been paid.
Journalist Abhinav Deshpande tweeted this to the Hyderabad traffic police twitter handle,
Will you issue a “No Parking” e-challan to this vehicle? Place: Near Mahankali Traffic PS. Time: 3 pm on 15 November, 2018.
In response, Hyderabad Traffic Police was quick to respond, with ‘all are equal before law’ and a challan for Rs. 235
was promptly issued. Here is the Twitter status of the Hyderabad Traffic Police with the picture of the challan.
#HYDTPallRequalB4Law Challan issued for Wrong Parking. @syedmohammedd @YakaswamyChalla @AbhinayTheHindu @AddlCPTrHyd pic.twitter.com/rybxxPHv3C
— Hyderabad Traffic Police (@HYDTP) November 15, 2018
While the Toyota Fortuner SUV was actually attached to the Telangana director general of police, an assistant
commissioner of police was using this vehicle for an inspection visit to the Mahakali police station.
Meanwhile, another Twitter user applauded the move of the Hyderabad traffic police with the following,
Good to see even protocol vehicle of a senior IPS officer being challaned for traffic violation. Now, the question is who is going to pay for it? Vehicle was registered on government, so is it public money which has to be paid? I strongly demand action against the IPS officer too.
The rise of social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook has seen police departments of various states actively host pages on them. Almost every big city has its traffic police department running active social media pages, both on Twitter and Facebook. This has allowed citizens to directly get in touch with the police departments through social media channels, and expose the various violations of law.
As these pages are public, with a lot of people active on them, police officials are left with no alternative but to act against the violators, even if the violator is one of their own. This is one of the ways social media is transforming the law enforcement landscape in India. Public rebuke of officials through social media channels will also serve as a deterrent for law breakers.