Lakhanpur toll plaza ransacked as two local youth allegedly beaten up by plaza staff

Updated on Aug 04, 2020 11:19 AM IST

Trouble erupted, when two local youth had an altercation over the payment of toll with the plaza staff.

A majority of the staff fled the toll plaza, and the two, who had beaten up the youth, were thrashed by the mob.(HT photo)
A majority of the staff fled the toll plaza, and the two, who had beaten up the youth, were thrashed by the mob.(HT photo)
Hindustan Times | By

Lakhanpur toll plaza, which was inaugurated on July 22 amid a public outcry, in Jammu division’s Kathua district was ransacked at around 11 pm by a mob.

Trouble erupted, when two local youth had an altercation over the payment of toll with the plaza staff.

“The two youth were allegedly beaten up by the toll plaza staff with baseball bats. The news spread like wildfire in the area and a few people assembled at the plaza around 11 pm. Initially, they resorted to sloganeering, and later they ransacked the toll collection cabins,” said a local resident.

A majority of the staff fled the toll plaza, and the two, who had beaten up the youth, were thrashed by the mob.

Later, Jammu & Kashmir Police reached the troubled spot and resorted to mild lathi-charge to restore law and order in the area.

Kathua district commissioner (DC) OP Bhagat said that following the incident prohibitory order of assembly of four or more people, under Section 144 Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr PC), have been enforced in the area.

“The incident occurred at night on Monday. The SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) informed me about it. A mob attacked the toll plaza staff. The prohibitory order has also been issued in view of August 5 (the first anniversary of the scrapping of Article of 370 of the Constitution that gave special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir),” DC Bhagat said.

Earlier on July 22, the opposition, including the Congress, Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party, National Conference, Youth Federation, Kathua, and truckers’ association, had staged protests for two days and had courted arrests for the installation of another toll plaza in the Jammu division.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) authorities had signed an agreement for operationalisation of the toll plaza with Haryana-based Ranchordas Company.

At present, tourists and pilgrims have to pay toll at four separate plazas in the Jammu division, including Lakhanpur in Kathua, Sarore in Samba, and Nagrota in Jammu.

The public is sore with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the installation of toll plazas in the Jammu division.

Jammu has another toll plaza at Chenani in Udhampur. While two more have been proposed on Ring Road and Akhnoor.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A principal correspondent, Ravi Krishnan Khajuria is the bureau chief at Jammu. He covers politics, defence, crime, health and civic issues for Jammu city.

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