Farmers’ Tiranga Rally halts traffic on Gurugram roads
Traffic congestion was reported from across the city on Wednesday afternoon as more than 200 farmers took out a Tiranga Rally from Bajghera to Sadar via Palam Vihar and Sector 18, the police said.
Hundreds of farmers and political leaders participated in the rally, which was organised on city roads and the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway from noon to 2pm. Traffic movement was affected at Atul Kataria Chowk, MDI Chowk, Sirhaul, Sadar Bazar, Palam Vihar and Sector 5 and normalised by 3pm.
Commuters said there was heavy congestion on the stretch between Bijwasan and Sadar Bazar as well as at Pataudi Chowk and the stretch between Rajiv Chowk and the railway station.
Suneel Yadav, a resident of Sector 5, said he was stuck in traffic for over 30 minutes near the MDI Chowk. “There was no announcement about the traffic situation and the police did not even divert the routes to ensure smooth traffic,” he said.
Another commuter, Devesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 10, said that he was stuck near Sadar Bazar for over 30 minutes due to the rally. “The police personnel were trying to decongest the stretch but the volume of traffic was high and it took time.”
Astha Modi, the deputy commissioner of police, headquarters, said, “The rally was taken out on city routes on Wednesday afternoon and the protesters wanted to go to the National Highway-48. They tried to go towards Kherki Daula and Sirhaul borders, but we did not let them reach the expressway. Only the old city area was affected,” she said.
According to the farmers, the rally was held as a show of strength over their opposition to the recently passed farm bills.
Satnarayan Nehra, the president of Nehra Khap of Haryana, said, “As the police are not allowing us to reach Delhi, we are showing our presence and strength wherever we can. We took out rally in old Gurugram where local leaders and farmers supported us.”
Meanwhile, farmers on more than 90 tractors were sent back towards the Rewari border as they tried to bypass border checkpoints by going through agricultural fields. The police said they have deployed personnel on internal roads and fields connecting to other districts ahead of Republic Day, to keep a check on their movements. According to the police, the protesters had conducted a reconnaissance of the neighbouring villages last week to map out their route towards Delhi through fields.
Farmers with tractors from at least 25 villages are protesting at the Haryana-Rajasthan border and preparing to hold a tractor rally in Delhi on January 26.
Kamlesh Devi, a resident of Rewari, who has been protesting at the interstate border since December 16, said that they will reach Delhi on January 23 by their cars and have arranged tractors in Delhi for the rally. “The police are not allowing us to cross the borders on tractors so we are taking alternative measures,” he said.
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