Support continued to pour in for Anna Hazare’s protest on Thursday as a group of bikers took out a rally from Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon to reach Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan while several shopping malls in the Millennium City were forced to shut down by supporters of the anti-graft crusader.
Though the bikers were stopped at the toll plaza on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, commuters had to face long traffic jams in the evening. Shopping malls on MG Road were forced to close down by the protesters. Many opened in the evening.
“Around 50 youths on their bikes wanted to take out a procession from NH-8 to Ramlila Maidan. We asked them to go in batches as the rally would lead to snarls. We tried to convince them but they did not listen, so they were detained and taken to a local police station,” said a senior Delhi Police officer.
Many bikers from IMT Manesar and members of various trade unions also gathered at Rajiv Chowk to take part in the rally, disrupting vehicular movement on the expressway.
“It took hours to get the roads cleared. Traffic movement was disrupted from Shankar Chowk to Mahipalpur in Delhi,” said a spokesperson of the expressway management firm DSC Ltd.
The protesters also forced shopowners at several malls to down their shutters in support.
“Many people assembled here and asked us to close the shops and mall. Later, we decided to shut down to avoid any untoward incident,” said JK Gupta, manager of Sahara Mall.
According to BR Wassan, president, MGF Metropolitan Mall Occupants’ Association, the protest affected their business.