A trip to witness Shimla’s beauty turned into a nightmare for a Kolkata family. Stranded at New Delhi for two days, Ujjwal along with his wife and a 4-year-old son managed to reach Panchkula, only to be dropped at the Housing Board Chowk owing to blocked roads. Ujjwal’s family wasn’t the only one made to face inconvenience while travelling on the ZirakpurShimla highway on Sunday.
With Jats refusing to call off the quota stir for nearly five hours, the commuters were forced to spend their Sunday figuring out routes to reach their destinations.
“I got my family all the way from Kolkata to enjoy Shimla’s beauty, but all I’ve got to witness so far is Haryana’s terror,”said Ujjwal.
Another resident of Panchkula, Ram Sundar, who was returning from a temple on Morni Road with his wife and a seven-year-old a two-month-old kid, said: “We managed to reach the temple on a bus peacefully in the morning, but it was so hard to return. All roads were blocked and since I had to return to my duty, we had no option but to walk with our kids. We are exhausted.”
A group of four women was also seen walking all the way to their homes in Kalka. Returning after giving a threehour-long teacher eligibility test at St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, their auto-rickshaw was diverted four times, after which the driver left them at the Housing Board Chowk.
“My baby is alone at home. I didn’t think it would take this long, or I would have made some arrangement ,” said a worried Charanjeet Kaur, one of the four women.
For Ravinder Kumar and his father from Khumano Mandi, who were keenly looking forward to meet his sister residing in Kalka, it was a “tiring twoand-a-half-hour-long wait” on the Zirakpur-Shimla highway.
Vikhyat Mahajan, a Panchkula resident who had to cancel his flight from Delhi to Pune, said: “Until now, it seemed as though getting to Delhi was impossible, but now even returning to our homes safely in the city is a bug task with the stir reaching Panchkula.”
GROOM, AMBULANCE ALLOWED TO GO
In the midst of all the confusion, a groom who was heading towards Pinjore in a decorated white car was allowed to cross the traffic lights where all the protesters were sitting.
Meanwhile, a group of transgenders who appeared on the scene were also given way by the protesters after they raised slogans in favour of the Jat community (Jat zindabad, Jat ko aarakshan do!).
An ambulance was also allowed to cross by the protesters on the highway.
‘WE DON’T WANT TO HARM ANYONE’
A Jat woman from Panchkula who was busy raising slogans along with half a dozen other women at the protest site, reasoned: “If we can leave everything else and stand on the road, these people (travellers and commuters) too can remain stranded.”
Talking of the people being killed in the agitation, another woman said: “Our aim was never to harm people; some mischievous members of the community took advantage of the situation. We let ambulances and ailing people cross the blockade on Sunday.”
A student of a local college in Panchkula, Aman, said: “We were harassed and pushed around; no one comes to listen to our pleas. The chief minister just sits in his room and passes orders.”