Daily commuters faced yet another traffic nightmare for several hours on Monday as hundreds of protesting gram pradhans blocked the busy road near Shaheed Smarak. The road being the only artery between Hazratganj and the old city, vehicular movement along many adjoining roads was also thrown out of gear.
Hundreds of people under the banner of Rashtriya Panchayati Raj Gram Pradhan Sangathan had assembled near Shaheed Smarak to hold a demonstration in support of their demands.
Their main demand is to give more powers to the local village bodies.
The organisation was not given permission to hold a demonstration at Dharna Sthal in front of Vidhan Bhawan.
“We are not allowed to raise our voice in a democracy. We had no option but to stage a dharna here to attract the administration’’s attention,” said Suresh Sharma, state president of the Rashtriya Panchayati Raj Gram Pradhan Sangathan.
As the protestors swelled , t hey marched t owards Hazratganj and stopped the traffic along the road. Undeterred by the requests from the police and the administration, the numbers grew into a huge gathering, blocking the road completely for vehicular movement.
Consequently vehicular load increased on other roads, including the busy high court road, causing traffic jam.
“I somehow took the high court road after remaining stuck near CDRI for an hour. But since the road remains busy, there was no respite there either,” said Neeraj Sharma, an old city resident. Even the lawyers faced trouble while approaching the high court.
Finally, police had to use mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd and restore traffic movement.
“They were blocking the traffic, so we had to use force,” said station house officer, Wazirganj, AS Pundir.
After the lathicharge, the agitators were pushed to one side of the road where they continued their protest.