It was a day of protests that left people inconvenienced. On Tuesday, the protest by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers at local PAP Chowk for over six hours created traffic chaos on the national highway-1 and all districts of the Majha region and the state of Jammu and Kashmir were virtually disconnected from the rest of the country by road.
Another political party, BSP (Ambedkar), also blocked traffic at seven different places in the city to mark their protest over anti-people policies of the state government. People were seen looking for alternative routes through villages to reach their destinations.
Vehicles, in long queues, were stuck in jams for hours on almost all roads leading towards the chowk and people were seen carrying their luggage and walking on foot to reach their destinations. Police were seen helpless, requesting people not to use the route and remained a mute spectator at all the places.
Around 150 workers of the BSP gathered at PAP Chowk at around Noon and blocked traffic, raised slogans against the district police and state government.
The chowk is the busiest area of the city and is the diversion point towards Delhi and Chandigarh for the traffic coming from Amritsar and Pathankot. The protest was called off at 5.30pm after they gave a 15-day ultimatum to police to meet their demands.
The agitators were demanding action against Shiromani Akali Dal councillor Balbir Singh, to whom the city police had given a clean chit in a case of post-Vienna violence that occurred in the city in May 2009.
Vehicles, including school buses and ambulances, were stuck in the jam for hours and it was a nightmare for passengers.
"I covered a 10km stretch from Phagwara to Jalandhar in five hours, as we had no prior intimation about the traffic jam. We traversed through villages to reach the city but on those routes also the vehicles were moving at a snail's pace," said Gurjot Singh, a city resident.
"My family walked for 3km to reach the city as the bus driver expressed his helplessness move further," revealed another passenger, Madan Lal.