Inspector General (Traffic) Basant Rath had won many fans across the the state for streamlining traffic movement in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar. However, on Tuesday he was removed from the post and attached to the office of Commandant General, Home Guards, Civil Defence and State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF) till any further orders.
As per the order issued by state’s Principal Secretary Home R K Goyal, he has been replaced by IG Security Alok Kumar.
The transfer directive comes days after he entered into a war of words with the newly elected Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu over traffic management in the city of Srinagar.
After assuming the charge as Srinagar Mayor, Mattu in a Twitter post had claimed to have received many complaints about traffic mismanagement in Srinagar city. He said that he has spoken to the SP Traffic (Urban) and sought a review of the traffic diversions and plans.
Rath hit back with a “not your domain” tweet. He wrote that traffic diversion at Jehangir Chowk is a compulsion and the vendors have created a mess on the Amira Kadal – HSHS – Maharaja Bazar – LD Hospital stretch, and the SMC needs to clear the mess.
Before that he had made an indirect reference to Mattu by calling him a cabbage. This had created a laughter riot on Twitter and invited jokes and memes by netizens.
This was not been first time that Rath had landed into trouble for his very outspoken nature and style of functioning. There were protests against him for allegedly manhandling a media person and then snatching his mobile phone. He had later apologised to the media person following an intervention by some senior police officers.