Meet Odisha-born cop Basant Rath, who is youth icon in J&K for his flamboyant style

Bhubaneswar: One can love him or hate him for his flamboyant style and aggressiveness of issuing appeals and warnings to follow the traffic rules in Jammu & Kashmir, but this Odisha-born IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath has vowed to bring everyone including the citizens, politicians and police officials on right track.

Recently, Rath assumed the charge as the IGP (Traffic) in Jammu & Kashmir. Following his promotion, he landed in a series of controversies for his style of action directed at everyone who refuses to wear helmets and whom he termed as politically well-connected individuals.

Hailing from Odisha and an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the 2000-batch IPS officer Basant Rath is best known for his straightforwardness on social networking sites like Facebook and microblogging site Twitter.

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As if the Jammu and Kashmir people would love to see the traffic updates posts on Twitter by Rath after they wake up from the sleep in the morning.

In the militants infested state like Jammu & Kashmir, Rath is like a moving force in vehicular traffic system. He leaves no stone unturned when he catches anyone riding the bike without helmet.

His strict attitude in profession and dauntlessness has won many hearts on Twitter and Facebook.

Taking to Twitter Rath told media, the fourth pillar of democracy that continues to focus Rath for his style of action and delivering duty that it can never make him speak against his consent.

One can analyse his attitude towards his duty and service after going through his series of tweets on Twitter.

On VVIP culture in traffic management he wrote:

Spreading public awareness to use seatbelt and helmets while driving, he focused on the safety of people on roads.

The dutiful IPS officer knows the values of time that waits for none.

For the female two-wheeler drivers, he never relaxes traffic rules, rather he gives them only two options either to buy good quality helmet or pray for his transfer from the post.

The law-abiding police officer chooses duty over any kind of recommendation. Replying to a link, he sought only 90 days after his posting as the IGP in Traffic to bring reforms in the traffic system in J&K.

Recalling moral teachings taught by his mother, he believes complaints never give him wrinkles.

As a police officer in full of action, he shares his Whatsapp number on Twitter asking people to use their smartphone and send any kind of unlawful act on road.

He keeps on informing about the traffic rules to people. He is the officer who is accessible to public in Jammu.

Rath is not favourable to his seniors and police officials who violate the traffic rules without wearing helmets.

My Dear Senior who thinks I’m all gas on FaceBook and Twitter and no guts. Please ask your PSOs to drive their bikes without wearing helmets. I’ll ruin their day. And yours. I don’t think I love you.

On Valentine’s Day he has a message for the Twitter users who do not celebrate love because they do not have love partner.

He warned the cops and officials of facing consequences if they don’t wear helmets.

He urges people not to send any funny or useless messages on his Whatsapp number that he has shared on Twitter.

Rath urged the car owners to remove the tinted glass as part of directive by the Supreme Court of India.

Soon after his joining as the IGP, he appealed to people of J&K not to violate the traffic rules. He made it clear that he will ruin the lives of bikers who ride their vehicles like aircrafts.

Interestingly, Rath’s patriotism and his love for Odia language is best noticed on the office orders that carry his signature in his regional language Odia.

Recently, Rath seized a car of an Army official, who happens to be the son and son-in-law of two senior IPS officers in J&K. Both Rath and Army official filed FIRs against each other at police station.

He is no more star for the tainted politicians and officials for his strict actions. In a video Congress MLA Usman Majeed alleged that Rath was acting like a goon. He also raised questions over the IPS officer’s posts on Facebook that he termed as ‘indecent’ and ‘insensitive’.

In one of his messages on Facebook, Rath had compared helmets with condoms urging people to use both for protection of life.

Rath found himself in a controversy by allegedly abusing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s media analyst Javed Trali.

Taking to Twitter Rath wrote:

Rath was elevated to IGP rank in Traffic following the approval of J&K government despite Centre had called for action against him for alleged violation of the service conduct rules.

The MHA in a letter dated August 29, 2017 asked the J&K government to take disciplinary action against Basant Rath for violating All India Service Rules following the report of a discreet probe conducted by Intelligence Bureau (IB) on account of his objectionable columns and articles published in “The Wire” and “The Indian Express”.

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