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Mumbai traffic police to boost PR skills after Asha row.

Summary: MUMBAI: Traffic policemen in the western Indian city of Mumbai have been ordered to brush up their public relations skills after a celebrity singer attacked their conduct, a top official in the state of Maharashtra announced on Friday.


Home Minister R R Patil said he ordered a workshop for the traffic police in the wake of a controversy created by popular playback singer Asha Bhosle, who criticized their behavior.

The singer alleged recently that the Mumbai traffic police were "uncultured" and that they lacked courtesy

"I have taken serious note of her observations," Patil said on Friday.

The home minister, however, told the singer that it was "wrong on her part to paint the entire Mumbai police black for the action of a few people".

Bhosale stunned the gathering of academics, including state Governor K. Sankaranarayanan and Tourism and Public Works Department Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Technical Education Minister Rajesh Tope during a recent speech after being awarded a honorary Doctorate of Literature (D.Litt.) by the Yeshwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) of Nasik.

The younger sister of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar suddenly deviated from her acceptance speech and launched a verbal attack on the Mumbai traffic police.

"I feel and think that the Mumbai traffic police behavior toward the public must be due to lack of good education. The YCMOU should take responsibility to educate the Mumbai police," Bhosale said

Patil said he had ordered the Joint Commissioner of the Mumbai Traffic, Vivek Phansalkar, to take urgent action on the workshop.

The minister also said he had told Phansalkar that the police should not only behave politely with the celebrities but also with the common people so that their public image would receive a major boost.

Patil added: "I have asked a senior IPS official to personally call on the eminent singer to find out whether any police official did not show courtesy to her."

The minister said the policemen, allegedly involved in the incident, would face punitive action after an inquiry.

Police sources say the singer's outburst followed police action against the driver of her vehicle over a traffic offense.

Some residents criticized the singer, saying that the police were right to take action against the driver for violating the traffic laws. "We are all equal before the law," they pointed out.

Anant Bhide, a manager in a multinational company, said: "Bhosale felt hurt because of the police action against her driver. And all her criticism is because police ignored her status. What she talked about is nothing but sheer nonsense."

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 4, 2011
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