KERALA

Traffic disrupted on NH Bypass after mishap

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM May 22. Traffic on the National Highway Bypass was disrupted for nearly an hour on Thursday afternoon when local people blocked the road at Thiruvallam in protest against the "slow response'' of the Traffic police to an accident which occurred there.

A 26-year-old youth was killed when the goods autorickshaw he was driving collided with a mini-lorry carrying wooden planks on the National Highway bypass near Thiruvallam at around 12.45 p.m.

Police identified the deceased as Shibu, a resident of Vattiyoorkavu. The driver of the mini-van sustained minor injuries in the accident. Both the injured were transported to the Medical College Hospital by the people who had gathered at the accident spot.

A section of the people blocked the National Highway with the wooden planks that had fallen off from the cargo hold of the mini-lorry. They were incensed over the failure of the Traffic police to reach the accident spot.

There was a stand-off when policemen who reached the spot demanded that the local people remove the planks from the road and make way for traffic. With the local populace refusing to heed the demand, the task of clearing the road was taken up by traffic police constables.

The police version is that the constables from the Traffic station at Pattom had reached the spot without delay. However, some anti-social elements in the area had made matters difficult for the constables who were allegedly showered with verbal abuse. According to the police, it took an hour's hard toil to remove wooden planks which were placed on the road as a hurdle to vehicular traffic.

The police have registered an accident case and the body of Shibu was being kept at the Medical College Hospital mortuary for post-mortem examination.

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