The angry outburst of a ridesharing biker which led him to set his motorbike on fire allegedly in protest of repeated police harassment is just the tip of the iceberg of police abuse on roads. Just a couple of days ago covered van drivers had called for a strike protesting police harassment on roads for bribes. It is an open secret that undue tolls are being raised from all kinds of transports including goods-laden tracks, passenger buses, and easy bikes by a section of unscrupulous police personnel. In case of non-payment of extortion, cases are filed against the drivers.
Armed with this legal protection the police can arrest and harass anyone they fancy without any obligation to give justification or prove guilt. In most cases no convincing reason for the arrest are given and their authoritative power are frequently abused for harassment and extortion. Victims are mostly poor drivers or small traders, that is, common people. This has been going on for years and is believed to be a potent cause for hikes in prices of essential commodities and transport fares. Of late this kind of abuse, like many other abuses of the police, seems to be intensifying. From time to time we see wholesale arrests are made with the sole purpose of taking graft.