RAWALPINDI: Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Mohammad Bin Ashraf on Tuesday suspended a warden for knocking scores of motorcycles to clear the route for Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed at Bohar Bazaar near Lal Haveli.
The action was taken after a video clip went viral showing the warden pushing down the parked motorcycles on Monday.
According to the traffic police, a departmental inquiry has also been launched against the warden, Mohammad Riaz. DSP headquarters Taimoor Khan will hold the inquiry and report to the CTO within a week.
The warden was on duty when the minister’s official convoy passed through the area. The minister expressed his concerns over the illegal parked motorcycles on both sides of the road causing hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.
In the meantime, the warden began knocking down the motorcycles that were parked illegally.
After the incident, the shopkeepers and traders staged a protest against the traffic police and the federal minister.
The protesters said after becoming minister Sheikh Rashid wanted to close all the roads in the area. They said police were supposed to protect the belongings and goods of the citizens but to please the minister the warden damaged the two wheelers.
When contacted, Rawalpindi Traders Association President Shahid Ghafoor Paracha said they were already facing problems in Bohar Bazaar as the road was closed around Lal Haveli in the name of security and the latest incident forced the residents to take to the streets.
“Traders and shopkeepers staged the protest in Bohar Bazaar against the railway minister. They demanded reopening of the closed roads in Bohar Bazaar otherwise the traders will launch a protest,” he said.
He said to please the minister the traffic police on Tuesday launched an operation in Bohar Bazaar and forced the people not to park motorcycles along the roads. “There is no place for parking in the thickly-populated area and people have to come on foot to the bazaar,” he said.
When contacted, traffic police spokesman Wajid Satti said the CTO expressed his displeasure over the incident and warned the wardens not to damage public vehicles.
However, he said, the operation against encroachments had been launched to ensure smooth flow of traffic in all the city areas.
Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2018