LAHORE - The traffic wardens are showing their new face as complaints against the graduate traffic wardens of torturing and thrashing the motorists are on the rise. It seems that traffic wardens have changed their tactics to establish the authority on the roads. Such complaints with wardens thrashing and beating the motorists for violating traffic laws were never witnessed since the time the new traffic force was established. In some incidents wardens not only issued challan tickets to the motorists but also subjected them to severe torture in the presence of scores of other motorists. As these complaints grew the police top brass looked the other way. A fresh incident took place near Shah Alam Market on Thursday when a group of five traffic wardens thrashed a motorcyclist Muhammad Asif, and torn apart his clothes. The young man was going to the Mayo Hospital where his father Muhammad Irshad was admitted when he had an encounter with the wardens. He received multiple injuries also. Many motorists tried to interfere to rescue the youth from the wardens. But wardens were bent upon teaching him lesson of his lifetime. All the five wardens later picked him up and took to the Rang Mahal Police Station while letting out their anger further. They also tortured him again at the police station in the presence of the police officials. The youth, a resident of Mughalpura, runs a shop in New Anarkali. His friend Junaid who was also accompanying Asif on the same motorcycle also received injuries when the same wardens also turned on him. He told this scribe that Asif was very upset due to the deteriorating health condition of his father who was admitted in the Mayo Hospital. On the day of incident Asif received a call from the hospital by his relatives that his father's health condition was not good and asked him to immediately rush to the hospital. Asif left his shop and asked him (Junaid) to drop at Mayo Hospital. "When we were near the Shah Alam Market, Asif again received a call from the hospital while driving the motorbike," Junaid said adding, suddenly a traffic warden stopped them and said that mobile phone was not allowed during driving. He said that Asif informed the warden that health of his father was not well and the call was from the hospital. He further informed him that he was in hurry and wanted to reach the hospital. The warden, however, turned a deaf ear to his requests and asked him to show original registration book of the bike. The youth informed the wardens that he was having only photocopy of the registration book and asked him to issue challan ticket by pledging his original National Identity Card and allow him to go hospital to inquire after health of his father. But the warden refused and started exchanging hot words with him. In disappointment, the youth also replied in the same fashion and resultantly the warden got infuriated. He called his other colleagues and started beating him. This was not an isolated incident, first of its kind. Another shocking incident had taken place in Shahdara area some weeks ago when a traffic warden set on fire Ching Chi rickshaw of a poor man for committing traffic violation. He was also without registration book of the rickshaw. In another such incident in the jurisdiction of the Civil Lines police, a couple of months back, two traffic wardens thrashed a car rider on The Mall in the presence of scores of people and later took him to the police station (Civil Lines). The victim was highly qualified and running business abroad. The warden later got registered a case against him besides issuing him challan ticket. Ghulam Mahmood Dogar who was then Chief Traffic Officer himself reached the police station when the matter was brought to his knowledge and suspended the warden for illegal action. A few days back three wardens subjected to severe torture a motorist near Lahore High Courts building over a minor issue and later got registered a case against him the Civil Lines Police Station. Some weeks ago, two traffic wardens shot injured a student of Government Islamia College in front of the District Courts with an official gun. The CM later took serious notice of the incident and transferred the then CTO and an SP when allegations against the wardens proved true. When contacted, the CTO Lahore Hussain Habib Imtiaz defended the traffic wardens saying that no complaint has been submitted against the wardens about torturing the motorists on the roads since he has taken the office. When this scribe informed him about the fresh incident took place near Shah Alam Market, he again defended the wardens saying that though he had no information about the incident he was sure that the motorists would be at fault.