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Old 16th August 2009, 08:56   #16
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In general, in any State in India, out-of-state vehicles are fair game for cops, and they are harassed endlessly simply to extort money. SUVs especially get special treatment since the cops naturally assume that they are taxis masquerading as private cars and they proceed to treat you as such till proved not guilty. Smaller cars are seldom stopped.

I have never faced any stoppage/ harassment in RJ, HR, UK, MP, North East, OR, AP. Have been stopped in KL too - in the Nagercoil-Trivandrum NH47, for instance, where they assume you are a smuggler (and I have been harassed in the middle of night, despite speaking fluent Malayalam too, but had MH number plates), and interrogated at late night (but for security reasons, and this one was a very polite encounter). For several years, the KA CP at the Goa border on NH4 regularly took money from all non-local vehicles. I have been stopped in HP (near Manali) on grounds that my Scorpio is a taxi, and the junior cop took me to his senior officer who was good enough to let me off. In PB, I had the misfortune of having to pay Rs 1,000 cash (at 3 am outside Jalandhar, way back on 2002) for the sin of my co-pax not wearing a seat belt momentarily (he was taking out some stuff from the rear seat), i have also been stopped near Mukerian in PB and the cop searched for reasons to fine me, finally extorting some money on the grounds that my RHS headlamp did not have a yellow sticker strip........and so on.
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Old 16th August 2009, 09:01   #17
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Yes, Sir, I very much agree that we were at mistake, not knowing the rules. And yes, I also agree that the policeman was just doing his duty to make roads safer, BUT the thing is, I forgot mentioning this, he was stopping only the trucks and other H.C.V.s, letting all other taxis to pass (there were no private vehicles around), and also he and the other officers around were drunk.

Had the policeman been a touch more civilized and had he not offered back the can, I would have had no other choice but to salute him and the good work he was doing. I guess this is the case all over India.
No cop is interested in implementing any rules, they simply look for excuses to extort money. You can go and check out any commercial vehicle, the vehicles do not have tail lamps, rear bumpers, headlamps, bad tyres, incomplete documents - they continue to run. In MH, for instance, every commercial vehicle is stopped and has to pay a hafta, and continue to ply with impunity. If you stand outside the Thane-Bombay CP, you will see how every luxury bus (especially the ones from MP, GJ) are stopped, detained (to check on goods inside for determining octroi) first by the octroi guards and then by the RTO guys to "check" (daily!!!!) and "collect".

I am waiting eagerly to meet the first "civilised" cop...........
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Old 16th August 2009, 10:05   #18
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This reminds me of two incidents, one in Delhi itself and the other in a non-descript town in GJ.

The first one in Delhi happened many many years ago in Connaught Place opposite the Plaza Cinema building in the evening. I was with my family and driving towards the outer circle from the inner circle in my Maruti 800 DX and was stopped by a TC (traffic constable) near the Plaza Cinema. I immediately ran a mental check for the documents and remembered that they were in order and present. I asked him the reason and was told that I was driving with out the HLs switched on. My parkings were switched on. I said that on an illuminated road driving with parking lights and not having the HLs switched on is not an offence. He wouldn't agree and took me to his senior who was a SI. I had already lost my patience and when the SI asked, I questioned him if the MV Act specifies that driving with parking lights and without HLs on is an offence.

To be honest, I don't know in detail about the MV ACT. Either he fell for this bluff or it was a fact that he said that it is not necessary to switch on the HLs on an illuminated road if the parkings are on. The look on the face of the TC was something I wouldn't forget... In Mumbai 90% of the 4 wheelers drive with their parkings on.

In the second instance that happened in 2006 was when I was driving to Mumbai in my Safari. In some town in GJ after Vadodara that I was passing through, I saw a few cops standing in a distance and flagging down vehicles. As sson as I neared I was asked to stop. One TC came and said that my HLs were not half blackened. While I was talking to this TC, I saw a man in civvies with a bucket and brush rush towards my car. I got down and as he was about to apply the black paint, I caught him by his neck and pulled him away bellowing - don't you dare touch my car without my permission. This caused a commotion and a senior cop came over. He said that a raffic drive was going on and all those cars that did not have their HLs half-blackened were being done so. I said I'm a tourist passing through this place on my way to Mumbai and am not a resident of this place. hence I should be allowed to go. He accepted thsi and allowed me to go.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
i have also been stopped near Mukerian in PB and the cop searched for reasons to fine me, finally extorting some money on the grounds that my RHS headlamp did not have a yellow sticker strip........and so on.
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Old 16th August 2009, 13:13   #19
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On a recent road trip from mumbai to chennai via bangy and back, as I was driving back from Bangy towards Mumbai, some 30 kms after Chitradurga, I was witness to a strange sight. A police jeep was straddling the divider on the National Highway 4, perpendicular to the lanes. three cops were stopping every bike/car/truck and were armed with a blue sticker book, each sticker the size of an inland letter (remember those?). The wording on the sticker was in kannada, and the cops wanted 50 bucks from every motorist to buy a sticker, which the cops would stick on the windshield. When I asked politely what the sticker is for, the cop said something about 'government sticker hai, 50 rupees deke leneka, aage checking karega, sticker nahi lagayega to fine hoga'
I quickly realised this was all a scam, but played along, as I didnt want to waste my time and miss my kolhapur deadline for the day. The sticker was of such bad quality that my wipers automatically got rid of if without my realisation.

On another note, traffic cops in Mumbai are some of the most corrupt people I have seen. I once refused the breathalyzer because I saw the guys who just used it, and they looked disgustingly filthy. I had no reason to subject myself to any indignity, and made sure the cop understood that I am going to refuse at any cost. The cop then demanded a 50 rupee bribe to let me off, which I refused pretty firmly. He then called his superior, who let me off, I suspect they did not want to create a scene and lose 'business'.

Nakabandi is a regular occurence on Mumbai's suburban highways, and my commute which is regularly in the post-midnight hours, ensures that I meet every naka between bandra and thane. Everytime I have been stopped (bike/car), I've only been asked one thing, 'itna raat ko kidhar jaata hai'. For my non-hindi friends, its 'Where are you going this late at night?' When I explain that I'm returning home, I'm always met with sympathetic responses from the cops at the naka, they too being victims of irregular, overly long drawn out work days. I've never had trouble at nakabandi's. These cops are the Maharashtra Police, and not the Traffic cops, and usually keep their hands in their own pockets, instead of ours.

An interesting bit of information, I own a Bullet Std 350, and have taken it everywhere in mumbai and the suburbs, at all possible hours of the day and night, and have never been stopped at any checkpost, at any nakabandi or at any other junction. Whenever I took the Rx out, it was like a cop magnet! The decision on which bike to ride soon depended on the check naka's I planned to cross, and the time of day/night! rather than my own choice.

Cheers,
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Old 16th August 2009, 13:23   #20
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Till recently, I have always had problems in Delhi, at the points of entry (Sonipat, Badarpur and Gurgaon side), and I used to hide behind local cars just to avoid being noticed. The moment they see the MH number plate, they stop you and I always had to pay Rs 50 or Rs 100 to get through, for no reason at all. It is only on the last 2-3 occasions when I have had no problem in Delhi.

In MH, they have innovative tricks like what gd1418 and SriKu have mentioned - once, out of Solapur on NH9 towards H'Bad, I was stopped by the cops who insisted that I must have some reflective stickers on my front bumper and they sold me 2 red reflector spots at an outrageous price in the name of safety. Difficult to out-argue cops on a highway.

After my run-ins with cops in GJ and PB on the HL Yellow sticker issue, I permanently have the yellow strip on my RHS headlamp, at least eliminates one excuse for petty extortion.

Recently, I was running away from cops in AS, WB, BR and UP (not stopping) all the time during my recent North East trip. In BR, they seized my car for election duty (and I talked my way out of that), in Kanpur, the cops who I stopped to ask for directions tried to act smart (but I out-gunned them and moved off quickly) and in the Bhognipur-Jhansi sector, they were whistling after me all the time.

So this is India, meri jaan - live with it as much as you can!

Last edited by hvkumar : 16th August 2009 at 13:25.
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Old 16th August 2009, 13:53   #21
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Regarding the original post of this thread, while I whole-heartedly condone the behaviour of the policemen at the checkpost, isn't Gujarat a dry state? Wouldn't you be inviting trouble carrying any sort of alcohol in the vehicle?

@hvkumar and others: Some great experiences there. I can safely conclude, that these are not one-off but routine experiences on any road trip.
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Old 16th August 2009, 14:04   #22
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Moral of the story: Don't get into a mud fight with a pig, you'll both get dirty and the pig will enjoy it.

and in this case the Pig will make some money too.
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Old 16th August 2009, 14:27   #23
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Interesting thread, and like all of you, I too have tons of such stories to recount while driving across this great country that is India. On more than a few occasions, I've found that having a "Doctor" sticker on the windscreen makes the cops' approach to you a little softer. And having a "Press" sticker or an "Army" sticker really makes them stay away from you.

Some 13 years ago (1996), I was driving from Ahmedabad to Delhi in a WB-reg Amby, and was stopped on the outskirts of Jaipur by cops who wanted to check my PUC certificate. In those days, PUC check centres were non-existent in Gujarat (three-wheelers used to drive around using a potent cocktail of petrol and kerosene!), and since my car was in Ahmedabad for about 4 months, I didn't have a valid PUC certificate. So the cops decided they wanted Rs.1000 from me. Fortunately, my co-passenger was a senior journalist. He decided to intervene, and showed the cops his press card. One look at it, and they were all happy to let me drive away, claiming I should have had the "Press" sticker on my winscreen in the first place!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 16th August 2009 at 14:28.
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Old 16th August 2009, 15:00   #24
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Interesting thread, and like all of you, I too have tons of such stories to recount while driving across this great country that is India. On more than a few occasions, I've found that having a "Doctor" sticker on the windscreen makes the cops' approach to you a little softer. And having a "Press" sticker or an "Army" sticker really makes them stay away from you.
Oh, you are forgetting the "Lawyer" sticker - cops get very wary when you say you are a lawyer. I carry a legal firm visiting card too - since I also do lot of legal work and am a consultant to a legal firm, although I am no lawyer.
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Old 16th August 2009, 19:41   #25
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Regarding the original post of this thread, while I whole-heartedly condone the behaviour of the policemen at the checkpost, isn't Gujarat a dry state? Wouldn't you be inviting trouble carrying any sort of alcohol in the vehicle?
Sir, I've specified this earlier, we WERE at fault in a big way, not knowing the necessary rules, and we have taken steps to ensure such things don't happen again. What I wanted to put forth through the post was mainly the least interest shown by the cop in confiscating the can, rather than trying to make money. I guess this is the case all over India. Really makes me wonder, what causes these type of feelings in almost all cops?? Is it the low pay?

@bblost: Very very nicely put.....

Last edited by esteemer : 16th August 2009 at 19:42.
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Old 16th August 2009, 20:08   #26
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I have had incident near Maharashtra-AP Border when I was driving from Nagpur to Bangalore in the year 2005 November. We were only two people me and my friend in my 800 both were sitting on front seats. Boot and back seats were full of luggages. My car registered in Bihar.

My friend were returning from Jabalpur to Bangalore after his brother's marriage so I asked him to accompany me from Nagpur to Bangalore drive. He was carrying 7 -8 box of different sweets from just held marriage of his brother.

We were stopped and checked for everything. Cops were asking to open luggages and show them everything. He was saying these are naxalite infested areas so we were checking arm smugglings. After I open 2 - 3 briefcases suddenly one sub-insepctor rank of cop saw all those sweet boxes. Then he started questioning. You are carrying so many boxes of sweets, why?. Is these re good sweets?

I straightaway asked him do you want one box. He started grinning like "he he he ". I took one box and handed it over to him. His smile became big and said, We were just checking and asked me go.

Even AP cops satisfy with sweets box.

Last edited by anujmishra : 16th August 2009 at 20:10.
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Old 16th August 2009, 23:40   #27
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Oh, you are forgetting the "Lawyer" sticker - cops get very wary when you say you are a lawyer. I carry a legal firm visiting card too - since I also do lot of legal work and am a consultant to a legal firm, although I am no lawyer.
...indeed! That too! And in North India, a "police" sticker (a rectangle with a diagonal across it, red and blue on either side). Or this sticker - an absolute no-no for any cop to to even THINK of stopping.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteemer View Post
...what causes these type of feelings in almost all cops?? Is it the low pay?
There used to be this ditty painted all over the walls of Calcutta during the '60s and '70s (the Naxal era), which read
"Police tumi jotoyi maaro,
Mayiney tomar eksho baaro."
which, roughly translated, would mean
"Beat us as much as you like, cops,
But your salary remains a hundred and twelve bucks, tops."

Today's constable is no better off than that, despite all the Pay Commissions.
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Old 17th August 2009, 00:28   #28
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I have never faced any stoppage/ harassment in RJ, HR, UK, MP, North East, OR, AP. Have been stopped in KL too - in the Nagercoil-Trivandrum NH47, for instance, where they assume you are a smuggler (and I have been harassed in the middle of night, despite speaking fluent Malayalam too, but had MH number plates), and interrogated at late night (but for security reasons, and this one was a very polite encounter).
You are telling its Polite and then how is it considered as harrasment.
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Old 17th August 2009, 09:10   #29
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar
I have never faced any stoppage/ harassment in RJ, HR, UK, MP, North East, OR, AP. Have been stopped in KL too - in the Nagercoil-Trivandrum NH47, for instance, where they assume you are a smuggler (and I have been harassed in the middle of night, despite speaking fluent Malayalam too, but had MH number plates), and interrogated at late night (but for security reasons, and this one was a very polite encounter).
You are telling its Polite and then how is it considered as harrasment.
Here, I am talking about 2 separate episodes - one occasion when they sopped me at midnight on NH47 between Nagercoil and Trivandrum and behaved as though I was a smuggler of rice and delayed me despite my sharing info on my credentials and my destination in Trivandrum. The second occasion I am talking off was on NH17 near Paravur on the Kalamaserry-Kodungallur road, where they were having a naka bandi - they were surprised that anyone from Bombay could be driving in a Scorpio all alone through the night, but on ascertaining my identity, there were no further questions or checking and they wished me well and let me go.
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:38   #30
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After about 15 min, Dad came back and told what had happened inside- The policeman had asked him for Rs. 10000, but Dad had said that he currently didn't have that much. And so, the policeman had come back again to search for money, not liquor. Finally he had settled for Rs. 2500, and the shocking thing-- As dad starts coming back to the car, the policeman, who himself appeared drunk, offered him the can again. Dad asked him to keep it with himself.
Hey Esteemer, sorry to hear such an incident and to top it all you had to pay an hefty amount to get going.

Even I had a similar experience, but was lucky enough to escape.

After work, we planned to have a party at our friends place. Hence bought liquor (10 bottle beer, 4 CAN's and 2 Teachers), with ICE cubes and lots of chicken.

Dumped everything in boot and reached back at office to pick one of our colleagues. By that time we realized that we are missing something important, the glasses. Went back to the road side dhaba, which was besides the wine shop.

I stood waiting on the other side of the road while my colleague went to fetch some glasses. Meanwhile, 2 cops on a bike with HR license plate, parked their bike in front of my car blocking my way. One of them approached me and with a abusive language blamed me of drinking inside the car.

I was asked to step out while one of them started checking the entire car except for the boot. They checked for my car registration papers including pollution. Luckily, had all the papers. Since everything was in place and I was not drunk, the cops only scolded me of standing on a busy road (busy road with no traffic).

Meanwhile, as the cops were about to leave, my friend returned with the glasses and again my luck favored, the cops didnít notice the glasses.
Quickly sped off and enjoyed the rest of the night.

Had they asked me to open the boot, I would have landed into a serious trouble. Lucky me!!
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