iconimg Wednesday, July 29, 2015

HT Live Correspondent
October 18, 2006
BLUE TUSKER threw city traffic out of gear for over five hours leaving traffic managers with no option but to run for safety on Wednesday. Kanshiram’s ashes were accompanied by about 1.5-lakh-strong mob of Bahujan Samajwadi supporters who thronged city roads till Prerna Sthal. The commuters stuck in the traffic feared more as the memories of 2003-4 stampede in which many BSP workers were killed haunted them.   The traffic coming from Kanpur Road, moving towards Raj Bhawan through the VIP Road was diverted to the Rae Bareli Road. While there was heavy traffic jam at Singar Nagar Naharia where nobody was able to move even an inch after the cavalcade of Mayawati arrived at the Ambedkar Rally Ground.

The police diverted the traffic from Bangla Bazar to Rae Bareli Road, but it jammed Teli Bagh road in turn. The commuters had to travel 10 extra kilometers to reach Charbagh from Bangla Bazar. There were nearly 18 pickets in the route from Airport to Prerna Sthal where heavy police force was deployed for crowd management. The BSP workers had put up a number of stalls of food items and water for the party workers. The road at Ambedkar rally ground was dotted with the cutouts of Chatrapati Sahu Ji Maharaj, Narayan Guru, Periar, Ambedkar, and Kanshiram. The BSP workers were carrying placards of Kanshiram and Mayawati.

With the aspiration of having a glimpse of Kanshiram’s ashes every individual wanted to reach Prerna Sthal before the chariot should reach there. The elderly and old people were carried away to Prerna Sthal by party workers, rest of them started their journey on foot.

Shiv Kumar Gupta Mayoral candidate had put up several stalls of water and food item for the people walking throughout the distance.  To control the crowd on the route, no vehicle was allowed to ply on the VIP Road till the chariot reached Prerna Sthal with the ashes of Kanshiram.

Later, in the day the traffic in Hazratganj came to standstill as lakhs of BSP workers thronged the roads from Hussainganj to Loreto Convent crossing.

Hundreds of vehicles carrying placards and posters of Kanshiram were parked outside the VVIP guesthouse, Lamateneire Road, and Mall Avenue.

Police had a hard time in controlling the traffic in the evening hours in front of Lohia crossing.

Some BSP workers had a fight with the squatters in front of GPO over some issue, which was controlled by the police force present on the occasion. The loudspeakers were places from Prerna Sthal to Lal Bagh in front of Novelty talkies, whole of Hazratganj, all over Mall Avenue, Secretariat crossing, till Sadar petrol pump for the speech of Mayawati. Lakhs of BSP workers who  were not allowed to enter  the road towards Prerna Kendra gathered on the road to listen to their leader’s speech bringing the traffic to a standstill.