Mothers, school children face brunt of Cyberbad police traffic restrictions
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Hyderabad: People in Hitec city, Gachibowli and surrounding areas, as well as those from other parts who have to drive to the area for work or business, are feeling the impact of the harsh restrictions and impositions of the Cyberabad police and traffic police.
Most common commuters and citizens who complained to Deccan Chronicle about the issue said that the Cyberabad police was conducting the challan collections and pending dues verification in a whimsical and oppressive manner.
The worst victims are mothers and school children, whose safety has been totally neglected as a priority by Cyberabad traffic police, despite the recent Telangana High Court strictures and guidelines to the police and administration on the issue of safety of children.
Since Thursday morning, Cyberabad traffic police further compounded woes of the locality with their decision to suddenly impose harsh changes to one-way rules or block roads without any prior notice or information.
For example, several commuters complained that the Whitefield road in Kondapur was blocked from the main road, and internal roads were converted suddenly into one-way. Similarly, school buses coming from Hitec City Cyber Towers side were prevented from going towards Gachibowli, and forced to turn towards the Hitex crossing.
"Several of us mothers of children realised with shock suddenly on Thursday that school buses cannot enter our colony any more. So the school suddenly informed us that we have to personally receive our children when the buses come, on the main road. How can a working mother suddenly find a break from office at such short notice? Why was this not planned or informed before," asked Mithila Reddy.
"It is the duty of our police to place the highest premium on the security of children? Suddenly changing rules which impact school buses from reaching homes being done without a day’s notice is condemnable," said G. Sudha. "Who will be responsible if something happens to our children? These restrictions are ridiculous."
On several WhatsApp groups, mothers requested the school management to try to drop their children safely home, but to no avail.
"I am not available at home and I cannot take any chances with the lives of my children," a mother pleadingly wrote. She had to arrange for a neighbour to help, eventually, as the cops did not even allow school buses to go on their usual route. But the chaos ensured most school children reached, especially those in the age group of five to ten years, got very late.
Earlier, for several days, people in large numbers have complained of harassment by the Cyberabad police and traffic police over "routine check-ups."
"Police must collect challans but there are no standard operating procedures. People, especially those plying on two-wheelers and three-wheelers are stopped and made to wait for long times, without any accountability," opined most commuters. "
Besides the long waiting times, the police are extremely rude. "Unlike in the United States, where every policeman has an SoP on how to speak to people when they are pulled over for traffic offences or checks, Cyberabad police left it to each cop to interpret it based on the hour’s mood. They are disrespectful, talk rudely, and are absolutely unwilling to answer any queries. Everyone is treated like a malefactor," complained Sheena Gupta, who drives everyday to her office in Gachibowli.
"Police in Hyderabad, and India at large, have no SoPs. There are no bona fide rights of people they acknowledge. Any protest can be turned against the citizen, and this can include even if police manhandle a commuter. Every protest makes the litany of charges more brazenly serious," said designated senior counsel of the Telangana High Court, L. Ravichander.
"Also, the language employed by the police, not to mention their body language, reeks of a feudal mindset, and is a complete anathema to a good democracy," Ravichander said.
Not only are people made to wait for long, but also the facility to pay online or issue e-tickets is not available at several instances.
"Why can’t the friendly police of ‘Cyber’abad issue e-tickets to a vehicle by a device and collect monies online or give a day to pay remittances? Why are they collecting mobile phone numbers and noting vehicle numbers on paper?" asked Akash Singh, a techie.
A senior police officer, when reached out for a response, said, "People must abide by the rules and follow the law."