Agnipath stir: Intense checking gridlocks Delhi-UP border roads

Army aspirants across the country have been protesting against the Agnipath scheme launched by the union government last week and many states have seen violent outbursts since then. The ‘Bharat Bandh’ call was given on Sunday after the three military chiefs said that the scheme will not be withdrawn
Traffic at a standstill in Noida due to heightened border checks on Monday. (Sunil Ghosh/ HT)
Traffic at a standstill in Noida due to heightened border checks on Monday. (Sunil Ghosh/ HT)
Published on Jun 21, 2022 12:11 AM IST
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Heavy surveillance at the Delhi-Noida border led to slow traffic movement between both cities on Monday morning. Gautam Budh Nagar Police also detained 24 people who were going towards Delhi to participate in protests against the Agnipath scheme.

Police commissioner Alok Singh, along with several senior police officers, hit the ground to oversee the security deployment around the five major routes between Delhi and Noida. Police said that suspicious people and those in large groups were detained under Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent any law and order situation in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Section 144 is already under imposition in Gautam Buddh Nagar commissionerate and all forms of demonstrations or group marches are prohibited. Delhi Police had also banned similar gatherings. It has been done under a well thought-out and coordinated mechanism. Some people who were going towards Delhi for various reasons have also been detained as any gathering is prohibited there as well,” said commissioner Singh.

Singh added that sensitive zones have been marked and are under constant surveillance. “Police personnel have also been deployed in adequate numbers at all national highways and expressways, border areas of the district and bus stands. Drones have also been deployed for surveillance across the district”, he said.

Meanwhile, apart from minor traffic snarls at the Kaushambi border, the situation remained in control in neighbouring Ghaziabad too. Officials said that no serious law and order issue was noticed and the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call remained ineffective in western Uttar Pradesh districts, including Ghaziabad.

During the morning peak hours from around 8am to 1pm, vehicles took up to half an hour to cross the border from Noida towards Delhi as traffic police personnel checked every vehicle in an effort to control any violent incident.

“Almost every vehicle is being checked by the Delhi Police. Barricades have been put up and traffic is slow, especially on the DND flyway, Kalindi Kunj and Chilla border towards Mayur Vihar,” said Ganesh Prasad Saha, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Gautam Budh Nagar.

DCP Saha added that while Noida also increased surveillance, traffic from Delhi to Noida was smooth. However, several commuters on their way to Delhi from Noida faced problems.

“Why should people even be surprised about heavy traffic between Noida and Delhi? It is routine and this border is never clear. Especially when there is a protest, it is best to not step out,” said Saumya Bharti, a regular commuter.

Other commuters complained about facing problems to reach their workplaces because of heavy traffic. “Some outfit or the other always wants to protest in Delhi, but the price is paid by common people like us. I got delayed for office today and many others like me also faced problems. The law enforcement agencies need to find a permanent solution for these situations,” said Manish Kumar, a resident of Greater Noida West.

Police said that efforts were made to clear the traffic as soon as possible without compromising on security and the borders were largely clear by 1pm. “We had made provisions for any emergency and safe passage of ambulances and other emergency vehicles if needed,” said DCP Saha.

Army aspirants across the country have been protesting against the Agnipath scheme launched by the union government last week and many states have seen violent outbursts since then. The ‘Bharat Bandh’ call was given on Sunday after the three military chiefs said that the scheme will not be withdrawn.

Prashant Kumar, additional director general of police (law and order), said, “We handled the issue sensitively. However, we took strict action after political and anti-social elements got involved in the protests. So far, we have registered 49 FIRs and arrested 475 people in this matter. Of these, substantive and serious sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been imposed against 330 individuals who were deliberately trying to disrupt peace. Human and technical intelligence is being used for monitoring and surveillance.”

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