Assaulting cops? Get ready to lose passport!

Assaulting cops? Get ready to lose passport!

Anyone daring to assault a Mumbai police personnel on duty will risk losing his passport, PAN card and even action under laws applicable to gangsters.

These are among a series of stringent measures announced by Mumbai Police to tackle growing instances of assaults on its personnel, especially traffic policemen and policewomen on duty in the past few months.

Apart from the regular Indian Penal Code sections dealing with such attacks, the Mumbai Police will walk an extra mile to instill fear among those found guilty of such crime, Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh warned here late Friday.

Such offenders will not be issued 'character certificates' by police, mandatory for getting passports, and police will recommend cancelling their passports, deny renewals and cancel the driving and arms licences permanently. The offices, companies or employers of such offenders shall also be informed about the conduct of their employee/s, Singh declared.

The police have warned that such attacks would attract proceedings against the offender under the dreaded Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA), 1981.

Generally invoked against gangsters or habitual criminals, MPDA allows police to throw offenders or potentially dangerous people into lock-up for up to three months without bail.

If such attackers do not surrender, they may issue 'look-out' notices against them and they may be prevented from travelling abroad, and police would object to them joining government services.

The police will start compiling a list of such known miscreants along with their personal details, pictures, fingerprints, employment or business details, copies of their PAN and UID cards, passport, driving and arms licenses, with the local police stations.

Justifying the strict measures, Singh said that attacks on cops would be considered "an attack on the government, and if not tackled urgently, could send a wrong signal to the people."

"People would start thinking that if a police force cannot protect itself, how can it protect the society. There will be zero tolerance of such incidents," Singh said grimly. Singh's directives came in the wake of a series of attacks on on-duty cops in the past few months, starting with the assaults of policemen during the Aug 11 rally by some Muslim groups at Azad Maidan.

With this move, Mumbai police will add another feather of discipline to the already strict implementation of traffic rules and discipline in the city, reputed to be the most stringent in the country.

Drunken driving, speeding, honking in silence zones and violating other traffic norms are not forgiven and many have learnt it the hard way with jail terms or cancellation of their driving licences in the past couple of years.

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