Guwahati: At a time when stringent action under the revised Motor Vehicles Act have been taken across Assam with hefty penalties being imposed for traffic violations, a senior Union government official’s vehicle was clamped by cops for allegedly parking at a restricted zone at Mangaldoi in Darrang district on Tuesday.
The incident drew the attention of social media users across the state after a picture of the government vehicle, bearing a plate of the ‘Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Income Tax Department’, was widely shared on local Facebook groups.
The viral picture clearly displays the government vehicle parked in a restricted zone with a clamp on its right front wheel and a ‘No Parking’ board displayed behind it.
As per sources, the incident took place on the main road of Mangaldoi town during the afternoon hours on Tuesday. The driver of the vehicle was repeatedly asked by the traffic cops present on the spot to move it to another place, but he allegedly refused to do so.
Speaking with EastMojo, traffic sub-inspector of Mangaldai town, Gokul Deka, said that the police officials were just doing their duty with determination and had to take the strict action as the driver refused to move the vehicle from the restricted zone, even after several requests made to him.
Deka, however, informed that no challan or fine was issued on the spot but a police case has been registered against the driver for alleged violation of traffic rules.
“We have registered a case against the driver of the government vehicle and he has to appear before the district court on a notified date,” Deka added.
The sub-inspector further revealed that, earlier, there was a minimum fine of Rs 500 collected for every violation of parking at a restricted zone but it has been recently increased to Rs 2,000 after the implementation of the new Motor Vehicles Act. He also said that the same amount of fine has been imposed against the driver of the vehicle.
Upon searching for details of the vehicle at www.mparivahan.com, bearing registration number AS-01-DX 4974, it was found that it is owned by a person named Mina Ram Kalita.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that traffic cops have initiated action against a senior government official or politician’s car in Northeast India.
Earlier in July, the images of a traffic policeman clamping a police (Gypsy) car that was parked at a restricted zone besides the road, with the front wheels going over the recently-laid footpath, in Kohima, had gone viral. The vehicle was parked below the police headquarters in the state capital of Nagaland, and it had blocked half of the pedestrians’ way.
Around that time, a Sikkim politician’s car faced the music in a similar manner. The incident had taken place in Tadong area, about 6 km from Gangtok in Sikkim, sometime after the state assembly results were announced on May 23.
According to sources, the car belonged to a ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) leader, and was registered in the name of Anand Lama.