Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 29:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken into cognizance the issue of the general public in the country being inconvenienced and subjected to hardships and sufferings as a consequence of traffic police ensuring smooth movement to VIPs and their cavalcades by halting traffic for long periods of yime, especially during the ensuing elections.
The NHRC has directed the secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take appropriate action within eight weeks and to inform the complainant of the action taken in the matter.
The Commission’s directive came in response to a petition filed by Odisha based human rights activist Akhand in this regard.
The petitioner contended that stopping of traffic for general public to give smooth passage to VIPs affects the right to liberty and right to freedom of movement of the general public.
It also indirectly infringes on the right to life of the citizen since it often costs lives in medical emergencies when patients need immediate attention, he argued.
In his petition, Akhand pointed out that the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs provided for stopping traffic to give passage during movement by road, only in case of President, Vice President, Prime Minister and visiting dignitaries who are given President and PM level security cover.
The traffic police needs to adopt measures to minimize the inconvenience caused to the public in general due to stoppage of traffic to facilitate safe passage to VIPs not entitled for the same, the petitioner argued in his petition.