Jat protesters block GT Road, thousands stranded on key highway

  • HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2016 17:10 IST
Jat protesters blocking National Highway 1 in Sonepat on Saturday. (HT Photo)

After days of GT Road not being affected by Jats agitating for reservation, the protesters finally blocked even the National Highway 1 at several points near Sonepat on Saturday.

Virtually tens of thousands of road users were thus stranded since morning as the protesters set up the blockades by diagonally parking vehicles or using trees staring around 10am.

Though there were said to be more than half a dozen such points, the major blockades were put up near Nangal, Murthal and Kundali villages. With this, the movement of all types of vehicles including buses came to a standstill on both sides, virtually cutting off Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir from the national capital via what is a historically important road of all of South Asia.

Haryana Roadways also put total halt to all its buses in Panipat, Sonepat, Hisar, Jind, Narnaul, while Rohtak, Jhajjar and Bhiwani had already been under curfew since Friday.

Read: Jat agitation brings Rohtak to a standstill

Though the police and a few units of the army had reached the spots, there was no action for want of strength. Admitting it, the director general of police, YP Singal, held that more army and paramilitary force was being airlifted to these spots and dialogue with the protesters was on. “Since the force could not be rushed to the spots by road (that are dug up or blocked), some units are being airlifted and are on the way,” he told HT in the afetrnoon.

Back on the spots, according to available information here, utter chaos prevailed as the protesters had also deflated the tyres of heavy vehicles, which would mean that removing them and restoring traffic on the highway would be an uphill task.

Meanwhile, the state government continued to parrot that it is trying to dissuade the protesters from the agitation through dialogue.

Read: Shatabdi among 24 trains cancelled from Chandigarh, no relief in sight

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