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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

Commuters bear brunt of protests

Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 08, 2013
First Published: 23:55 IST(8/5/2013) | Last Updated: 23:57 IST(8/5/2013)

With protesters laying siege to Jantar Mantar and Vijay Chowk during Parliament session, traffic management on Central Delhi roads has gone for a toss.

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In the wake of the ongoing protests by Sikhs against the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 riots, the traffic police had to shut down Rafi Marg and Sansad Marg on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Due to the closure, vehicular traffic of the two roads was diverted to other link roads in the area which created traffic snarls on the C-Hexagon (India Gate), roundabout of RML Hospital, GPO, Ashoka Road, Patel Chowk and other Central Delhi roads.  Failing to manage the flow of vehicles, the police had to call off restrictions on traffic movement around 7pm on Tuesday.

The situation again worsened on Wednesday during the morning peak hours as the restrictions were imposed again.

“We withdrew restrictions on the roads at 4.30pm as the Parliament ended its Budget session,” said a senior traffic police officer.  Burning fingers by trying to oppose protests by anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare in 2011, the Delhi police may have taken a defensive stance, but the traffic police are clueless on how to deal with the fast-growing problem.

Earlier, protesters used to come up to the Parliament Street to stage protests.

But following the agitation by Anna Hazare during the Budget session in 2011, a new trend emerged.

Now, protesters stage demonstrations at non-designated places, block roads and stop traffic to draw the attention of policy makers. The imposition of Section 144 (unlawful gathering) around Parliament failed to check the problem.


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