“The Chief Minister should also curtail vehicles in his cavalcade,” KB Rahlan, vice president of the People's Voice, a social organization based in Kangra district's Palampur town, said.

"We have been raising the demand for the past three years to minimize the usage of red beacons by ministers and officials," Rahlan said.

Noting that the use of red beacons is a symbol of power, he said, "Now when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party has decided to shun VIP culture, the Chief Minister here should also draw inspiration from him.”

“Roads are also meant for pedestrians and they have the right to walk freely,” said Dalip Sharma, president of the organization, which comprises retired government officials, defence personnel and judges.

Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of the British Raj, is a pedestrian city and walkers have the right to move around freely, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has ruled.

A division bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol in a December 30, 2011 order had directed the district administration that while granting vehicle permits, the inherent historical aspect of the city should not be violated.

"These restrictions should apply to all concerned from highest to the lowest. The law is equal for all," the court said.

The Supreme Court had earlier in December slammed the rampant misuse of red beacons on cars, saying the practice had ‘perhaps no parallel in the world democracies’.

(Agencies)

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