VVIP convoy: Harassed commuter stands up

CM’s convoy holds traffic on NH 37 for 40 minutes at Golaghat, former minister Abhijit Sarmah serves legal notice

A Correspondent

Jorhat, Aug 4: A commuter has served a legal notice to the State government after security personnel brought traffic along the NH 37 in Golaghat district to standstill for over 40 minutes to facilitate movement of the Chief Minister's convoy.

In his legal notice served to the State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DGP and DC and SP of Golaghat, Abhijit Sarmah, former minister during the AGP's first term, has demanded an unconditiol apology to all the commuters for "inconvenience caused" and an assurance that "such acts will not be repeated" in future. "In the event of a failure to comply with my client's demand, we shall institute a suit against you," Sarmah's counsel Jishnu Baruah said in the notice.

Sarmah said the legal notice was served Under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 against the "unnecessary botheration and trouble caused to the common man who has to wait inorditely for a long period of time primarily because of the movement of one man - the Chief Minister of the State - causing the halting of movement of the public for as long as forty minutes."

He said, according to the Supreme Court's guideline and observations, there is a directive that halting of traffic movement on account of any VIP convoy movement cannot be more than 3 minutes. "But interestingly, on July 29, while I was travelling from Guwahati to Jorhat, I was made to stop by on-duty police officials on reaching Hatikhuli in Golaghat district. I was made to understand that a convoy carrying the Chief Minister was to pass by and I thought it would be just a matter of few minutes before we could resume our journey. But I was shocked and surprised to observe that the few moments summed up to 40 minutes, creating serious trouble and inconveniences to me as well as to the other commuters," he said.

"Though I understand the security protocol for VIPs and VVIPs, I fail to logically understand as to why a common man should be subjected to such torture. Thus I have concluded that the high-handedness and insensitivity shown by the Chief Minister is tantamount to illegality of the highest order. I am of the opinion that the CM is least bothered about the plight of common people and hence I seek an unconditiol apology for the inconvenience caused, and further a public assurance to the people of Assam about not repeating the same," Sarmah added.

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