Even though two Delhi Metro stations near Karbala remained closed for a few hours, better traffic management prevented a repeat of the chaotic situation that the city witnessed on March 10, the last time Karbala protesters had announced a march.
On the Delhi border on National Highway-24, where violence was witnessed on March 10 and traffic had been disrupted the whole day, the movement of vehicles remained extremely smooth all through the day. The reason being that the Uttar Pradesh Police had deployed their teams at all the major intersections on both NH-24 and the Mohan Nagar-UP Gate Road leading to the Delhi border.
Its personnel conducted discrete profiling of all the motorists that headed towards Delhi. They stopped and searched those who appeared to be Karbala protesters while allowing office goers and families to pass by without any interruption.
Though the Delhi Traffic Police had issued an advisory on Sunday and all through the day several FM radio channels kept advising motorists to stay away from NH-24, those taking the route did not face any problems. “On hearing that the road was open I gave it a chance and found that it took even less time than regular days as there were fewer vehicles on the road,” said a commuter Anita Menon.
However, protesters coming from Uttar Pradesh who had been stopped at the borders last time also learnt a lesson or two. Many had managed to reach the site by taking public transport and coming in smaller groups.
Security in and around the Karbala site in Jor Bagh was also bolstered further to prevent any violence.