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Bangalore DCP Traffic's Diktat: No Scotch, No Parking

PTI 16 Dec 2010, 16:50:24 IST
PTI
B Muthanna, Deputy Commissioner of Police Traffic (East), Bangalore, got  a no parking board installed at the exit of the hotel that did not serve him scotch, reports Bangalore Mirror.
 
The DCP and his friends had asked for single malt whisky. But the five star hotel they had gone to, served them India-made foreign liquor (IMFL) instead. Not given his “due”, the high-ranking police officer decided to teach the hotel a lesson.
 
About a fortnight ago, Muthanna, whose jurisdiction comprises almost half the city, had walked into the Le Meridien Hotel accompanied by some of his friends. Muthanna ordered for Johnnie Walker Blue Label scotch, but the hotel staff politely told him they had no stock of that brand. Muthanna and his friends quarrelled with the hotel staff.
 
A few days later, a no parking sign was planted at the exit of the hotel on Palace Cross Road and cops now penalise those who violate the signage — mostly visitors to the hotel.

A senior manager of the hotel, who was an eye witness to the incident, said: “They wanted 21-year-old Blue Label scotch whisky to be served on their table. We told them it was not available.

They picked up a fight with us. Junior officers accompanying the DCP shouted at us and berated us for not serving scotch to a DCP. Some of our senior managers then intervened and pacified the police officers after which we served them the best available Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They had a few drinks and left without paying the bill. They are regular visitors here.”

A few days later, the no parking board was planted. The hotel parks vehicles on this road — usually in the night — if there is no parking space available inside the hotel premises. Visitors too park there.

“Traffic policemen constantly camp on this road. They paste no parking fine challans on the windscreens of the vehicles and they sometimes even tow away vehicles,” the senior manager said.

The hotel administration had tried to placate the DCP by sending a few of their senior managers to apologise for the incident. But, Muthanna refused to listen to them.

“Later, we approached a senior IPS officer seeking justice and he spoke to Muthanna. The DCP told the IPS officer that a few high court judges staying in the locality were against parking of vehicles on the road. So the no parking board was installed. But judges have been staying in the locality for several years and we had no trouble earlier,” the manager said.

Praveen Sood, additional commissioner of police (traffic) and Muthanna's boss, says, police cannot install no parking boards on their whims and fancies.

Muthanna said, “I do not know anything about the no parking board. After that incident, I have not gone that side. I will look into the problem. The local traffic police might have installed the board, I will seek a clarification from them. There is no connect between the board and that incident,” he said.

When Bangalore Mirror persisted on why the no parking board was planted after Blue Label incident, he merely dismissed the incident.

High Grounds Traffic police, who had installed the board, also did not have a reasonable answer. They smiled sheepishly and requested the newspaper not to report the incident.

While lower ranked traffic policemen — assistant sub-inspectors, sub inspectors and inspectors — regularly take similar vengeful action against smaller eateries such as Darshinis when ‘hafta' and other freebies are denied to them, senior officers rarely resort to this sort of action. However, this DCP is not an IPS officer, he has risen from the ranks of SI. Habits die hard.