The Hyderabad Traffic Police is receiving bouquets instead of brickbats after it has been taking to social media and posting photos of challans issued to its own men in uniform, for breaking the rules.
"There are clear orders from the Commissioner of Police that every officer from a home guard to the top most level, must wear a helmet if they are moving on a bike. If any person is found violating this, he will be issued a challan," deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) AV Ranganath told TNM.
Stating that the rule of law was equal for citizens and police officers, the DCP added that the police was even going one step further.
"Apart from the challan, we are also initiating disciplinary action and issuing memos to the violators. No one is exempt from the rule of law," Ranganath says.
These social media posts come after Hyderabad-based politician Amjed Ullah Khan’s campaign #Practicewhatyoupreach, aimed at getting policemen to follow traffic rules.
For more than a month, Khan constantly tweeted photos and videos of policemen flouting the norms, tagging Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma as well as Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao.
The campaign soon went viral and received a massive response from the people. Many people also followed suit, posting and tagging photos and videos of police officers across the city, riding bikes without helmets and speaking on the phone.
To counter the hashtag, the Hyderabad Traffic Police started a hashtag #PracticingwhatWePreached last month and uploaded photos of several e-challans that were issued to policemen for not following the law.
However, Ranganath says, "We do not want the public to think that we are doing this only because of the politician's campaign. We have been issuing these challans and taking for more than a year now."
Reiterating that they were also initiating disciplinary action, he added, "We have fined over 500 to 600 policemen as of now, and made our message loud and clear."