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Gujjar protests throw Delhi out of gear
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | May 29, 2008 10:19 IST
Last Updated: May 29, 2008 10:32 IST
Members of the Gujjar community, who had threatened to take their agitation to New Delhi, blocked the various national highways leading to Delhi on Thursday and staged massive traffic blockades at various places.
The Centre has deployed over 45,000 officers and men of paramilitary forces to prevent any untoward incidents during the agitation by Gujjars, who have been demanding Scheduled Tribe status for their community.
They are also marking the anniversary of the clashes last year, which had claimed 13 lives.
The protestors blocked the Delhi-Gazipur Road since Thursday morning, resulting in massive traffic jams. The protestors finally allowed the vehicles to turn back and take alternate routes to the capital.
Harpreet Singh, an advocate who lives in Gaziabad, told rediff.com that he was traveling to Delhi to meet his in laws but could not do so because of the protests.
The protestors even burnt effigies at some places and shouted slogans against the government. While security has been beefed up in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, both the public and the authorities are wary about the final outcome of the situation.
Faridabad, Gurgoan and Delhi Jaipur Roads have remained open for traffic. Because of the hundreds of vehicles being diverted off the Delhi-Gazipur, commuters were caught in massive traffic jams on Gurgoan Mehrauli Road and the Chandigarh Yamunanagar Road.
The agitators also blocked railway tracks and refused to let the Shatabdi Express pass. The Railways has changed the routes of several trains from Punjab, Lucknow and Mumbai. Most trains are running several hours behind schedule.
The protestors have also blocked Loni Road on the outskirts of Delhi. They are also disrupting traffic on the flyovers.