Tipper operators on Wednesday blocked traffic on the Nawanshar road at Asron village near here to oppose the forcible collection of illegal "goonda tax" on sand and gravel transport.
The operators had handed five alleged goonda-tax collectors to the Asron police, and when they took no action against them, it infuriated the operators and they blocked traffic. They also reported collection of this tax at gunpoint, besides thrashing and intimidation of the drivers.
The agitation forced the police to register a case of theft and assault against alleged collectors Dalbir Singh, Nishan Singh, Pargat Singh, Dalbara Singh and Gurpreet Singh, and arrest them. The Rupnagar police also raided the district's Nurpur Bedi block to stop the collection of "goonda tax".
In a representation to the state election commission, Right to Infor mation ( RTI) activist Dinesh Chadha had requested for intervention to stop the illegal practice. The commission had forwarded the request to the home department, which had marked it to Punjab Police.
Rupnagar superintendent of police (detectives) DS Mann sent teams to raid the collection points in Nurpur Bedi but they caught no culprit, even as the locals burnt down a shanty that was an illegal collection point.