At railway station parking, pay more or get bashed up

Driver beaten up for daring to speak up

A car owner was allegedly abused and bashed up by a parking lot boss and his strongmen at the New Delhi Railway station after he objected to `malpractices' there, police said.

Police have registered a case against the asssailants, but no case was filed over the attempt to make drivers cough up more money. Cars were apparently being directed to the costlier `premium' parking lot even when there were vacant slots in the general parking area.

Victim Sujay Vardhan Bhal of Samachar Apartments at Mayur Vihar Phase I in east Delhi drove into the station's Ajmeri Gate side parking area on Wednesday around 11:30 am.

 “I was told by the parking contractor’s staff that the parking was full. However, when I inspected the lot, I found that it wasn't,” Bhal told police in his complaint.
  He said the parking attendants were forcing cars to move to the premium parking lot.

“I protested why I was not being allowed to park my car in the parking when there was ample space. On my insistence, I was allowed to park my car there,” he said.
“However, when I returned to the parking at about  4:20 pm, I found that the same staff was again harassing car drivers by pushing them to the premium parking lot, telling them that the general parking was full,” said Bhal.

Unlike the others, he dared again to question the parking attendants.

When an attendant, Amarkant Mishra, started arguing with him, Bhal asked him to come along and show him if the parking was really full. Mishra walked into the parking lot with him and Bhal showed him several unoccupied slots.

While Mishra started contined to argue with him, a car reached the spot and and a man in it said he was responsible for the parking lot.

Bhal alleged that a stout man emerged from the car and began using abusive language and pushing him.

“When I resisted, he hit me on my head and face and shouted for a stick. Somebody handed a stick to him and he attacked me with it. He again hit me with the stick on my shoulder and leg,” he said.

Some people intervened and saved Bhal. He immediately called the police control room. A beat constable rushed to the spot, but by then the parking staff and people in the car had fled.

Police have registered a case under sections 323 (causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restrain) of the India Penal Code. But no case was registered against the contractor for any malpractice.

The investigation officer said police had traced the car owner and sent a notice to him. But when asked about illegal practices at the parking lot, he said there was no mention of that in the complaint, and so he couldn't do anything about them.

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