Many attribute it to the party’s “sting-the-corrupt” drive

The number of traffic prosecutions in Delhi during the short tenure of the Aam Aadmi Party has shown a decline over the past couple of months, triggering speculations about the “Kejriwal effect”.

While the number of challans usually goes up on normal days, the last one-and-a-half months have defied the trend.

According to police statistics, the traffic unit issued nearly four lakh challans in October, almost two months before the AAP assumed office, whereas the number of prosecutions in January dipped to 3.5 lakh. The total number of prosecutions for traffic violations at 39.24 lakh in 2013 was higher than in 2012. The average challans per month in 2013 stood at 3.27 lakh, higher than the number of challans issued in November (about 3.17 lakh), December (3.02 lakh) and January (3.05 lakh).

Many attribute the same to the AAP Government’s “sting-the-corrupt” drive. Police officers, however, refused to accept the theory claiming a fluctuation in traffic prosecutions as normal.

“I have not seen many traffic policemen randomly flagging down motorists in the past few weeks. They do not even check for over-speeding at the usual spots these days. It seems they are scared of getting caught on camera while demanding a bribe,” said Vikrant, who drives from Ghaziabad to Lutyens’ Delhi everyday.

“Earlier they used to stop people for the smallest of things, even those who were not at fault. However, the situation appears to have changed now and for better,” said Sanjeev, who works in Patel Nagar.

He said the sting operations against some Delhi Police personnel during the AAP regime had adversely affected the force’s image.

Several policemen were suspended for allegedly accepting bribes in a sting operation recently broadcast by a private TV news channel. A case was also registered against these policemen and the Delhi Police immediately transferred the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation for “a fair probe”.

The decision to recommend a CBI investigation came shortly after former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted: “We will take strongest possible action against guilty policemen. Will not spare any corrupt. Also, will reward n recognise honest ones [sic].”

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