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Go slow on towing in Bengaluru, Karnataka CM Bommai tells officials

The CM instructed the police department to revisit the towing guidelines issued a few months ago and find ways to improve the system
Last Updated : 31 January 2022, 19:19 IST
Last Updated : 31 January 2022, 19:19 IST
Last Updated : 31 January 2022, 19:19 IST
Last Updated : 31 January 2022, 19:19 IST

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Amid a slew of complaints against towing operators hired by the Bengaluru Traffic Police, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday reportedly ordered officers to scale down the towing exercise in Bengaluru till further review.

Bommai chaired a meeting with the Home Minister, DG-IGP Praveen Sood, commissioner of police Kamal Pant, Joint Commissioner (Traffic) B R Ravikanthegowda and other officers to review the vehicle towing policy and asked the police to regulate towing operations.

During the meeting, the CM reportedly instructed the police department to revisit the towing guidelines issued a few months ago and find ways to improve the system. “We were instructed to revisit the policy and make some changes to bring in more transparency as well as make it people-friendly,” Ravikanthegowda told DH.

A senior traffic police officer told DH that the department will now take up another round of review of towing vehicles as well as personnel. “We will re-examine the vehicles to see if they match all the criteria that have been stated in the current SOP. We will also review if the towing personnel have behaved according to the SOP too. During this phase, the vehicles which have not been reviewed, will not be permitted to tow vehicles.”

Traffic police had come under fire following a couple of towing videos as well as the video of an ASI physically assaulting a differently-abled woman went viral on social media.

Gowda also held a meeting with DCPs, ACPs, and all the other traffic police personnel on Monday afternoon to address the issues.

“The officers were instructed to always take a professional approach and respect the law. As public servants, we should always take the legal approach when problems arise,” Gowda said after the meeting.

Doctored video: Police

Police officers on Monday clarified that the video of a towing vehicle in Jeevan Bima Nagar that went viral on social media was doctored and shared by Harish Gowda Gundagal, a political party worker. “S J Abraham, a Flipkart delivery executive, had parked his vehicle under a ‘no parking’ board. The towing announcement was made and the vehicle was lifted after Abraham came to get his vehicle released. To avoid traffic disruption, the towing staff stopped after 15-20 metres and returned his vehicle with a warning,” Ravikanthe Gowda said in a statement.

The video had only shown Abraham running behind the towing vehicle while his parcels fell off his vehicle. The video drew a flak from netizens. The police will now take legal action against Gundagal.

Police said, “We will take a few initiatives from today to bring some reforms in the towing system. If citizens are genuinely harassed, then we will take action accordingly.”

Another senior officer said it is not possible to stop towing altogether as it will lead to more haphazard parking in the city. “Along with CCTV cameras on towing vehicles, officers will also be given body-worn cameras. The footage from this will be reviewed by their seniors on a weekly basis. If any towing personnel is found to be flouting the protocol, then they will file a report and action will be taken against them.”

The officer also added that the senior level officers within the police department will conduct a meeting and come out with reforms that will be submitted to the government as per the CM’s instructions. After approval, those reforms will be added to the SOP.

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Published 31 January 2022, 18:51 IST

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