Commuters fume over 12-hour chaos

Usually, traffic police barricade roads for security reasons. However, they put up barricades on an entire stretch on the busy 9th Main Road of Banashankari II Stage during peak morning hours on Friday for an unusual reason: the death of a resident.

Ironically, the road has the Tyagarajanagar Women’s Police Station and a traffic police station, and the pandal put up by the bereaved family was bang opposite the latter, blocking the arterial road which connects areas like Padmanabhanagar to K.R. Road. The police facilitating a private function by blocking both sides of the road and diverting traffic to the adjacent roads led to chaos for more than 12 hours.

Police justified their action saying they were pressured into blocking the road as hundreds of family members, friends and acquaintances thronged the house, causing a huge crowd. “The family members of the deceased requested us,” said a senior police officer from the Traffic department. However, when pressed, the officer admitted the grace period extended to hours as the family waited for Rahukala to pass to lift the body.

Many commuters hurrying to their workplaces and other destinations vented their anger at the police and asked how a pandal could be allowed and chairs put out in the middle of the road, blocking traffic. “We understand the situation, but it should not be an excuse for public inconvenience,” said Rajeev Kumar, a software engineer who takes this road every day.

City Police Commissioner Raghavendra H. Auradkar, warned people that he would initiate strict action against those who disrupt traffic. A press release said many programmes and political rallies and protests are being held without permission, disrupting routine life.

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