Locals block Yamuna Expressway for 3 hrs
Traffic was held up for three hours, scores of vehicles were ransacked and a few unsuspecting commuters sustained minor injuries after residents and BSP workers blocked the newly-opened Yamuna expressway to protest the desecration of Ambedkar statue in Aligarh's Tappal village. Kapil Datta and Shashank Shekhar report.delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2012 00:03 IST
Traffic was held up for three hours, scores of vehicles were ransacked and a few unsuspecting commuters sustained minor injuries after residents and BSP workers blocked the newly-opened Yamuna expressway to protest the desecration of Ambedkar statue in Aligarh's Tappal village.
Dalit icon BR Ambedkar's statue in Tappal market area was found damaged on Saturday morning. A finger of the statue's right hand was missing while mud was smeared on its face.
Soon, angry protesters came out on streets and the news spread like wild fire to other parts of Aligarh. Farmers and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) workers blocked the expressway at Jewar toll plaza, Tappal and at zero point near Greater Noida.
"People were infuriated. Residents demanded immediate installation of a new statue," said a senior police officer. "We tried to pacify the protesters, but in vain. They cut 20 trees and used them to block the expressway," he added. The incident took place just 600m away from the expressway.
Aligarh deputy superintendent of police Satinder Singh Rathi told Hindustan Times that additional police force was deployed at Tappal. "The BSP workers were pacified and disbursed after hours of discussion. However, we deployed extra police force as a precautionary measure."
Traffic was worst affected at Jewar toll plaza where an angry mob stoned an Uttar Pradesh roadways bus going to Agra.
Nearly 250 people have been booked for the ransacking, said Jewar SHO Dharmendra Chauhan. Scores of protesters have been identified and police teams have been sent to arrest them.
Meanwhile, Tappal police also registered an FIR against unidentified persons. "We have placed an order for a new statue," said a police officer.
Locals of the Tappal area claim they had requested the police to protect the statue, but no action had been taken.