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Behave, Himachal Top Cop Tells Force After Police Thrashing Tourist Video Goes Viral

‘In no case, the police personnel can transgress the boundaries set by law,’ says Himachal DGP

Behave, Himachal Top Cop Tells Force After Police Thrashing Tourist Video Goes Viral
Representational Image -

Himachal Pradesh director-general of police Sanjay Kundu on Monday put the police on notice in Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts over an unsavoury incident relating to thrashing and repeated kicking of a tourist inside the famous Atal Rohtang Tunnel for alleged traffic violations as he apparently tried to overtake some vehicles.

A video clip relating to the beating and repeated slapping of the tourist, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, had gone viral on Sunday attracting massive criticism of the police’s behaviour in the garb of enforcing traffic norms in the tunnel, which connects Kullu-Manali with Lahaul-Spiti.

Though Kullu superintendent of police Gaurav Singh had acted promptly to institute an inquiry, the DGP has taken a strong exception to the police personnel’s action, who had also ordered the tourist to bend over with his arms looped behind the legs to hold ears. He was also heard begging the policemen to pardon him for his mistake.

In a strongly-worded letter written to superintendents of Police Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti , the DGP said, “The tunnel, ever since its inauguration, has become a major tourist destination as daily a large number of vehicles are crossing from both sides – south portal (Manali) and north portal (Lahaul-Spiti ). Some of these travellers are violating the laws and not following necessary guidelines, especially the Motor Vehicles Act.”

As such it’s imperative for the police personnel deployed in the tunnel to strictly enforce the law. Yet, at the same time, the police personnel must be polite but firm in their interaction with the public travelling through the prestigious tunnel.

He reminded that there are sufficient provisions under the law --- IPC, CrPC and Police Act 2007 --- to deal with unruly and boisterous travellers who willfully violate the law.

Kundu emphasized, “In no case the police personnel should transgress the boundaries set by the law .”

He further directed the Commandant IIRD police battalion, Pandoh (Mandi) to train the police personnel to be deployed at the tunnel with soft skills on interacting and dealing with the public. All those inducted for duty at the tunnel should be imparted these training and their soft skills should also be reviewed and upgraded regularly.

When contacted, Kundu admitted that the incident has impaired the image of the Himachal Pradesh police, usually known as the best force in the country.

“Besides, the police personnel and some men from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) were also involved in the incident. The inquiry is already under way but I decided to send a formal advisory to the district SPs at Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti so that such a thing doesn't happen again.”

The 9.2km long tunnel, said to be the world's longest tunnel in the world at height of 10,070 feet, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 3, and has become the biggest tourist attraction in Himachal Pradesh’s tourist destination of Kullu Manali.

On Saturday itself, the police had rescued 300 tourists who got stranded in freezing cold and icy condition at Rohtang Tunnel on their return from Lahaul-Spiti. Some incidents relating to blatant violation of traffic norms, dancing by the tourists inside the tunnel and atop their vehicles had also come to light.

“There have been multiple security-related issues in the tunnel. The police have to balance their role, be firm yet can't be indecent,” he underlined.

Meanwhile, the police have issued an advisory asking the tourists not to venture towards Rohtang Tunnel because of heavy snowfall and inclement weather resulting in the blocking of the north portal on Monday.

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