Traffic policemen to go on dutywithout mobile phone?

For about a week, when a new proposal is implemented, policemen on traffic duty in Dakshina Kannada, excluding the jurisdiction of Mangaluru Police Commissionerate, may have to keep their mobile phones in their respective police stations before going on duty for the day.

Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda is considering this proposal following complaints on the use of mobile phones by policemen on traffic duty. “There will be distraction when policemen start using their mobile phones while on duty. Let me see the result after implementing the proposal for a week,” he said here on Sunday.

During a meeting to hear grievances of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes people at his office, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (Ambedkarvada) member S.P. Anand pointed out that several policemen are seen being busy talking or chatting on their mobile phones rather than managing traffic. Another participant said that he has seen policemen riding two-wheelers while speaking on their mobile phones.

Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda said that he has personally seen some policemen chatting and speaking on duty while on the roads. “Just like the way policemen do duty during VVIP movement by depositing their mobile phones, we too can try this for those on traffic duty,” he said.

To this, a police officer said that in times of exigences, they will find it difficult to reach out to the constable concerned. “The only way we can communicate about the need to catch an offender who has jumped a traffic signal or a police check-post is the mobile phone,” an officer said.

When Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda said that messages can be passed using Walkie-Talkie, the officer said that not all policemen on the road have it.

Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda said that about 40 policemen will be on traffic duty every day in the district. “I will arrange for Walkie-Talkies and then try out the new proposal asking policemen to deposit their mobile phones before going on duty for a week,” he said.

When Harish pointed that the Malekudiya tribal community faced the threat of being exploited by Maoists to fight against the government as it was likely to implement the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee, Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda said that he will shortly visit the tribal area along with the Deputy Commissioner and clear all their doubts.

On the complaint that police stations are not conducting regular meetings of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to hear grievances, Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda said that the absence of regular meetings had resulted in a case where a grotto of Mother Valenkani was razed at Kolnadu village near Vitla on Thursday. The beat constable Ashok had failed to hold the meeting with the local residents and get a hang of the simmering tension in the village, he said.

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