Arrest drama triggers traffic chaos in Delhi
Yoga guru Ramdev and thousands of his supporters were detained Monday afternoon when they tried to march towards Parliament from Ramlila Maidan in support of their demand to bring back the black money stashed abroad and protest against corruption.delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2012 23:48 IST
Yoga guru Ramdev and thousands of his supporters were detained Monday afternoon when they tried to march towards Parliament from Ramlila Maidan in support of their demand to bring back the black money stashed abroad and protest against corruption.
As the police stopped the protesters near the Ranjit Singh flyover, about 3km from Parliament, traffic, too, came to a grinding halt in central Delhi. Disruptions continued till late in the evening.
For 6,000 Delhi Police personnel the challenge was to avoid a repeat of last year's crackdown at Ramlila Maidan, which left many injured and a woman dead.
Even before Ramdev announced his march plan at 12.45pm, the police had blocked the roads leading to the ground.
Around 100 DTC buses were parked near the flyover, which leads to Connaught Place, in the morning to drive the protesters away.
While Ramdev's supporters - some of who lay on the road - ignored request to board the buses, the preventive measures taken by the police threw traffic out of gear. The worst hit were those heading towards New Delhi railway station.
Vehicles coming from the Minto Road side were forced to a halt in front of the Civic Centre, while the Paharganj traffic was stopped at the Ramlila Grounds roundabout.
The road leading to the Delhi Gate, too, was blocked, causing a jam at ITO and Ring Road.
Rain did what the police couldn't. It drove supports to take shelter in the buses.
As the first bus carrying Ramdev started to move, 10 more buses packed with his supporters followed. The 1km distance from Ranjit Singh flyover to Delhi Gate took four hours to cover.
Finally at 6pm, Ramdev and more than 5,000 supporters were taken to the Ambedkar Stadium, close to the Ramlila Maidan, and let off but they refused to leave the stadium.