Protests against helmet compulsion continue

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 4 January 2019

NCP leader Anukush Kakade said, “Compulsion cannot be a solution and other infrastructural issues causing accidents such as potholes and narrow roads should be addressed first.”

PUNE: A bike rally was organised as a part of civil disobedience protest in response to the helmet compulsion which started from Patrakar Bhavan, Navi Peth and reached to Commissioner of Police Office in Camp while passing through various parts of the city.

Members of different political backgrounds were united under banner ‘Helmet Sakti Virodhi Kruti Samiti’ (Action Committee Against Compulsion of Helmet). Protesters raised slogans against government and police department during the event. They also carried ply cards criticising the move.

With the commencement of the new year, Pune Traffic Police started strict implementation of Motor Vehicles Act, which makes it compulsory for the two-wheeler riders to use helmets. Puneites responded to the move with mixed reactions as some supported it while some are opposing the action by the Traffic Department. On Thursday, action was taken against 9,519 persons for not wearing helmets.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Rupali Patil said, “Every time, with the change in officials, we have to face this action. Compulsion is coercive action and use of helmet should be left with the citizens. The government should not curb freedom of citizens.” Further, she also put forth the problems of women while using helmets.

Former MLC Mohan Joshi said, “Due to narrow roads and faulty signal system in the city, the riders can barely ride at a speed of 20-30 kmph, so there is no need of compulsion in city areas. While we support compulsion on highways where it is needed.”

Former Minister of State Ramesh Bagwe said, “The government should not curb freedom of citizens and leave the decision to them.”

NCP leader Anukush Kakade said, “Compulsion cannot be a solution and other infrastructural issues causing accidents such as potholes and narrow roads should be addressed first.”

RPI leader Mandar Joshi said, “Law is for society and some leniency should be kept while enforcing it. Also, there is no ample data that justifies the importance of wearing a helmet.”

A common letter demanding suspension of the drive was handed to the commissioner of police by protesters. Chief of Samiti Suryakant Pathak, Kakade and Shantilal Suratwala, BJP’s Sandip Khardekar, Congress’ Sanjay Balgude, MNS’s Rupali Patil, Shiv Sena’s Shyam Deshpande, Sambhaji Brigade’s Santosh Shinde, Sajag Nagrik Manch’s Vivek Velankar, Congress’ Shiva Mantri and RPI’s Mandar Joshi were present at the protest.

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