Puducherry: AIADMK MLAs smash helmets to protest against Kiran Bedi's compulsory order
Legislators belonging to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) broke helmets in the assembly premises on Tuesday to protest against the rule, which made wearing helmets mandatory, without creating awareness on its use.
The MLAs staged the protest to also condemn Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi's action to implement the rule and flayed her style of functioning which, they said, was arbitrary.
AIADMK's legislature wing leader, A Anbalagan, and his colleagues in the assembly, A Baskar and Vayyapuri Manikandan, brought a helmet each and smashed them on the floor.
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) also joined the protests wearing traditional earthen pots on their heads as helmets. The trade union workers noted that there are more pressing issues like the release of arrears to transport union workers and flayed Kiran Bedi over her "over-reach".
On Sunday, Bedi said the territorial law secretary had requested the Madras High Court to deploy a mobile magistrate traffic court in Puducherry to ensure motorcyclists wear helmets.
"It is now time and opportunity for relentless adoption of the rule by law enforcement agencies to bring down fatalities on roads. There shall be no relaxation, exceptions and interference regarding enforcement of the helmet rule," she said.
After the incident at the assembly, Kiran Bedi accused the legislators of violating orders of the Madras High Court on helmet ban.
"Law makers or breakers in Puducherry? These elected representatives r agitating against helmet wearing law enforcement. Will they take responsibility for past & future deaths on road, caused by head injuries?They r committing contempt of Supreme Court & Madras HC judgments too," she tweeted.
On Saturday (February 9), the Puducherry Police department had announced that wearing helmets would be mandatory from February 11 and a fine of Rs 100 would be levied on the violators.
The decision of the police department came days after Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy urged the department to implement the rule after creating awareness on the benefit of wearing a helmet. The mandatory helmet rule is the latest stand-off between Bedi and the chief minister.
Taking a jibe at Chief Minisrer Narayanaswamy, Kiran Bedi said that he was trying to scuttle the implementation of the helmet rule. In a WhatsApp message to mediapersons, Kiran Bedi said, "The chief minister cannot delay enforcement of a mandatory law. There is no provision for its postponement. Any officer delaying this enforcement or going slow owes an explanation."