Massive protest over missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed halts traffic, gives commuters tough time

Updated - December 02, 2016 01:59 pm IST

Published - November 07, 2016 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI

: As protests over the alleged abduction of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed returned to Lutyens’ Zone for the second time, the Delhi Police’s preparations ensured that there were fewer who assembled at the designated venue— India Gate— to raise their voice.

Detentions aside, the police had put traffic restrictions and employed heavy security on all major roads leading to India Gate.

At most entry points, water cannons and buses along with policemen in riot control gear were present.

Major inconvenience

Further, all entry points leading to or from the C-Hexagon were closed, a throwback to the arrangements during post-December 16 protests.

Meanwhile, for commuters, the situation turned to be a two-fold setback as Chhath celebrations in different parts of the city had already caused congestion.

While stretches such as Ashoka Road, Tilak Marg and Akbar Road were closed, commuters travelling towards the southern part of the city via K.G. Marg were granted relief as Jantpath and Rafi Marg remained open.

Although Sikandra Road and Feroz Shah Road were open, they remained chock-o-block with vehicles as they had to accommodate traffic from the other roads. Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Garima Bhatnagar said Subramania Bharti Marg, a stretch which connects south Delhi to central Delhi via Mathura Road, also saw heavy rush.

Bumper-to-bumper

The combined impact was seen at W-Point, where traffic remained painfully slow. Those coming from Chanakyapuri also remained stranded.

In an advisory issued prior to the protest, the police had instructed that protesters were not to be allowed anywhere except Jantar Mantar.

“Permission is subject to the condition that the number of participants does not extend beyond 5,000 and the organiser has made prior submission of an undertaking to SHO, Parliament Street, based on the guidelines laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,” read the advisory.

The idea to march to India Gate and take the protest outside the gates of JNU had been given by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejrwal when he participated in a public solidarity meeting on campus last week.

While students of JNU who had left campus by bus were detained in the vehicle itself before reaching India Gate, those who chose to gather on their own were detained outside the National Archives on Janpath.

A delegation of students trying to reach the venue from Jamia Millia Islamia were detained near Mandi House.

The protesters were taken to various police stations across the Capital.

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