It was utter chaos for over three hours after the kin of a slain auto-rickshaw driver took to the streets on Friday to protest his killing.
The protesters blocked traffic at Dugri Canal Bridge and the Atam Park roundabout for over three hours, demanding the arrest of the accused. Owing to the confusion, buses plying to Delhi, Malerkotla and Patiala had to be diverted.
Serpentine queues of vehicles were stranded in what appeared to be a never-ending jam around noon.
Those commuting by buses were a harried lot as they had to take a detour via the Ferozepur Road to reach their destinations. The Southern Bypass, Pakhowal Road, Vishwakarma roundabout, Gill Road, Dugri Road were witness to long traffic snarls from 11am to 2pm.
Thirty-year-old Vikrant Kumar was shot dead in broad daylight by gangster Gaurav Sharma alias Goru Baccha and his men on Thursday over a minor issue of parking his three-wheeler in front of Sharma’s rented accommodation. Kumar had just returned home after dropping off schoolchildren.
Protesters blame SAD
The protestors said the accused was associated with the Student Organisation of India (SOI), a unit of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). They also carried posters of the accused that showed him as a SOI member.
Independent MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, along with his supporters, also joined the protest, alleging that the police were reluctant to make arrests because the accused were in close contact with the SAD.
Traffic cops had a hard time trying to manage the chaos. On top of that, the visit of state Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh worsened the situation as his cavalcade worsened the situation.
The protest stopped only when police intervened, saying they would make arrests by 3pm on Saturday.
Dugri station house officer Davinder Chaudhary said the police had booked Sharma for murder. His accomplices Vipan, Gurmeet Singh, Arjun, Micky and three other unidentified persons had also been booked.
He further added that the accused were at large and the police had launched a manhunt to arrest them.
Post-mortem under police protection
The post-mortem in the case was conducted at civil hospital under heavy police protection while the protest was on.
Ankur Tandon, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, said he was stranded near the Atam Park roundabout for over an hour. “The police failed to control the situation and it was tormenting to be stuck for such a long time,” he said.