Residents protest army officials’ action
Hundreds of residents of Top Khana Bazar (RA Bazar) blocked the staff road in Cantonment on Monday to protest against army authorities for allegedly blocking several roads including the Mall road by putting barricades.
The angry protestors were alleging that the army authorities were not permitting local residents to use these roads.They alleged that the action to restrict the entry of civilians had been taken on the whims of few army officers without any orders from the defence ministry.
The protestors raised slogans against station commander Brig Asish Uppal and other officers and they did not allow any vehicle to cross that area.
A large police force was deployed in the area and angry RA Bazar traders observed strike as well to express solidarity with the protesting residents.
The blocked which had started at 9am continued till 2:30 pm and the protestors dispersed after burning the effigy of station commander near Haryana Wakf Board (HWB) office.
Jadish Goel and Ajay Kumar said if the restrictions were not removed within the next 48 hours the residents would start indefinite dharana at Mall road.
They claimed over 25,000 residents of RA Bazar and surrounding colonies had got affected by the army decision as the approach roads to their residents have been blocked.
The earlier protest was held on August 30 late night when the army had blocked the roads for the first time.
Cantt board member Raj Kumar alleged that the protest on Monday was held after the army and police authorities failing to resolve the issue despite assurance.
He said, “We have been insisting the authorities to show orders for blocking the roads but they have been shying away from their responsibiltities.”
A resident named Pankaj Bhardwaj said in July he had sent a representation to the president with a copy to defence minister pointing out that the army officials put civilian population to great difficulties by putting blockades on the main roads and deploying jawans to prevent the residents from using the roads.
He claimed that the president had sought details from the ministry but the defence ministry had not replied to his letter and that he had sought further information under RTI.
Bhardwaj said students were finding it difficult to go to schools, patients to hospitals and the workers to their workplace.
RA bazaar residents said MLA Anil Vij and MP Rattan Lal Kataria had assured them that they would take up the matter with defence minister Arun Jaitley.