More than 2,000 protesting teachers laid siege to the township after they blocked traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali national highway near the bus stand for hours on Sunday.
The protest started at around 1 pm and the traffic remained blocked till around 9:15pm, when the situation eased a little. However, hundreds of vehicles did remain stranded on the road in a long queue.
Heavy police force was deployed, but failed to control the situation. In the evening, the Ropar police was called in for help, but the roads still remained clogged.
The protesting teachers were members of Punjab Computer Teachers Union and they were demanding pay equivalent to regular teachers in the state. The protesters claimed that the state government had regularised their services in 2010, but their pay had always been a issue.
Soon after the protest started, Kharar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Sukhjeet Pal Singh reached the spot and requested the protesting teachers to lift the dharna. He even assured the protesters that he would help arrange their meeting with Mohali deputy commissioner Tejinderpal Singh Sidhu. However, the teachers refused to relent.
Later at around 9:15 pm, they lifted the blockade after the SDM assured them he will arrange a meeting with state education minister Daljit Singh Cheema on September 24.
SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, who also reached the spot, said traffic was diverted from Balongi and Kurali and claimed that there was no traffic jam. However, several commuters complained of poor police arrangement and an impossible traffic jam on both lanes of the highway.