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Saffronites stage blockades

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 14:41 IST

MEMBERS OF the saffron brigade staged chakka jam at two places –Sanjay Setu and Krishnapura crossing – on Thursday morning to protest against what they termed as the one-sided action of police in connection with the face-off between two communities in the Toda area on September 12.

The agitators were demanding release of Nanda Bai, a saffron brigade sympathiser who was arrested in the wake the trouble in Toda area, arrest of MLA Ashwin Joshi who had on an earlier occasion been booked under Section 307 of IPC, and action against CSP Arvind Tiwari whom they accused of being partial to the opponents.

As the agitation plan was announced in advance, there was heavy police presence in the Toda area where the trouble had taken place on Tuesday. The agitators gathered there and started chanting slogans against the administration, local MLA Ashwin Joshi and the area CSP. However, the drama lasted for only about 10 to 15 minutes.

Then one section of the protestors branched off and went near the Krishnapura Chhatri where they staged another chakka jam. Soon those protesting in Toda also went to Krishnapura and here the demonstration continued for over an hour.

The agitators were demanding that SP Anshuman Yadav and Collector Vivek Agrawal come and talk to them. The drama continued for over an hour after which both officials reached the site and assured that the grievances would be looked into. The Collector said that the court would be hearing the cases of those arrested at around 12 pm and all the accused would receive bail. Claiming it as a victory, the agitators dispersed.

Meanwhile, people on the roads had a tough time during the blockade, as many sections of the busy Jawahar Marg and MG Road were closed to traffic. At first traffic from the Siyaganj side had been closed and the Sanjay Setu had been kept open for traffic going from Siyaganj to MG Road. Later that too was closed. When the chakka jam ended at Toda, Jawahar Marg was opened for traffic.

However, as the chakka jam shifted to Krishnapura crossing, traffic coming from Gorakund to Khajuri Bazaar was closed. Traffic from Gorakund was diverted via Sitlamata Bazaar and other narrow lanes of the area. Those coming to Rajwada from the Sarafa side also faced problems as the traffic near the public library was also closed and they had to pass through Ada Bazaar and Imli Bazaar to reach their destinations.

Inflammatory pamphlets
DURING THE course of the chakka jam the agitators also distributed an inflammatory pamphlet. The name of the printer was missing from the pamphlet, but in bottom line the pamphlet said Dharma Raksha Samiti.

The pamphlet, among other things, accuses Muslims of destroying a Ganesh temple in North Toda and attacking Hindu houses. They also accuse MLA Ashwin Joshi of being agent of Muslims and also that a conspiracy was on to drive away Hindus from the North Toda area.

All arrested freed
ALL THOSE arrested during the course of the violence in Toda were released on bail in the cases that were heard by the SDM court, but in the non-bailable sections, the judicial magistrate refused to grant bail and they were all sent to jail.