Simmering resentment over hefty fines sparked tension in Bhubaneswar with people detaining several government vehicles at Rajmahal Square which were allegedly being let-off without proper inspection as per the new Motor Vehicles Act.
On Saturday afternoon, the pent-up anger of people over the newly introduced traffic rules by Motor vehicles act, finally spilled onto the road when hundreds of people detained three vehicles including a police van in Bhubaneswar.
Police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the mob.
Sources said that people have been complaining that police and government vehicles are purposefully being let go without checking their documents.
Alleging that the law enforcing authorities were not checking any documents from government vehicles nor its drivers were being penalised for violations, locals detained MO Bus, vehicles of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Odisha Police.
The ruffled people detained a police van, a Mo-Bus and a vehicle belonging to the Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation on Saturday and asked the drivers to show necessary documents.
Seeing the situation escalating from bad to worse, with the Auto Mahasangh joining the mob, the driver of the BMC vehicle managed to escape from the spot, leaving behind the vehicle in the middle of the road.
Thereafter, the agitators alleged that the bus was carrying more passengers than its permissible limits, the driver not wearing the seat belt and the police patrolling van not carrying valid documents.
In order to disperse the agitating people, a large number of policemen arrived on the scene and resorted to baton charge.
Sources said that a team of cops who were putting up a blockade and checking helmets and other documents of the commuters, detained a reporter of a news channel and upon finding the reporter not carrying some documents, an ASI drew a challan in his name.
It was when the reporter objected to the act that a verbal duel ensued between them and later, two to three reporters and photographers came to his rescue.
In no time, the altercation snowballed into an agitation as hundreds of people from nearby slum areas joined the reporters.
They asked the cops on duty as to why the government and police vehicles are not being checked. This escalated the situation. Learning about the ensuing chaos, Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi, DCP Anup Sahoo and ACP (Zone 1) Bishnu Charan Patra arrived at Raj Mahal to pacify the angry mob.