Commuters were caught in snarls across the city as thousands of protesters demanding reservation for Jats blocked almost all major roads for about nine hours on Friday.
The Jats have been protesting across the state for the past seven days demanding reservation in government jobs under the OBC (other backward communities) quota.
Around 9am, people from villages around the city started pouring into the city. The situation soon became a traffic nightmare as the protesters sat on roads, playing cards and smoking hookah, unperturbed by the commuters and constant honking. They blocked traffic on eight busy locations in Gurgaon and the traffic backed up on internal roads as well.
At 11 am, villagers from Islampur blocked the Sohna Road near Subhash Chowk, leading to congestion on NH 284A. Soon, all adjoining roads saw snarls. The demonstration at Bakhtawar Chowk affected traffic at Rajiv Chowk and Huda City Centre Metro station.
The Daultabad flyover -- that connects Bahadurgarh, Badli, Pataudi and Jhajjar to the city and also caters to a large number of factory employees travelling to Manesar --- was also blocked. Villagers from Dhanvapur, Basai and Gadoli blocked the roads to Pataudi, Farukhnagar and Jhajhar.
The police and the district administration failed to disperse the protesters and they vacated the roads only by evening. Normal traffic resumed after 6pm.
The protesters stayed off the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway on Friday. However, the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, which is organising the protest, threatened that they will intensify the stir in days to come.
“We will block NH-8 and disrupt rail traffic between Gurgaon and Delhi if the government does not meet our demands,” a member of the Samiti said.
On Thursday, the protesters had blocked parts of Old Gurgaon for more than two hours.