New Delhi, 11 March-2014(PTI):Traffic in many parts of the Capital was thrown out of gear on Monday after a large number of people arrived here from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to protest against acquisition of Karbala land in Jor Bagh. Two vehicles were set afire during confrontation between the protesters and the police . Over 25,000 people from U.P. descend on border protesting acquisition of Karbala land in the Capital.
The scene on NH-24 towards Ghazipur in East Delhi on Monday evening. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
More than 25,000 people were expected to participate in the protest organised by Anjumane Haidari, a committee that owns the Waqf land where the Karbala is situated. The protesters had planned to meet at Akbar Road in the Capital to demand the arrest of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel who, they claimed, was a business partner of the man who had acquired the land. Most of the protesters were stopped near the Ghazipur Mandi flyover on National Highway-24 and at Kalindi Kunj near Jasola.
A case was later registered against the mob for setting vehicles on fire. “Some people were detained for sometime and later let off,” said a police officer.
Normality was restored in the area by late evening.
According to the police, the protests led to a 10-km-long traffic jam on NH-24 starting from the Delhi-UP border all the way up to Pragati Maidan in Central Delhi.
Similarly, the road leading from Mahamaya flyover in Noida to Kalindi Kunj in South Delhi remained choked for hours together.
Two vehicles were set on fire at the Ghazipur Mandi flyover. While the protesters alleged that policemen set the vehicles on fire to stop them from entering the Capital, the latter rubbished the claims.
S. Krishnamoorthy, who commutes from Indirapuram in Ghaziabad to his office on Barakhamba Road, said: “I left my house in Indirapuram around 1-15 p.m. and reached near the Ghazipur flyover at 1-30 p.m. I saw a burning vehicle ahead of me on the flyover and the road was completely jammed. I was stuck in traffic for nearly three hours.”
Another daily commuter, R. M. Singh, who commutes from Patparganj to his office on Parliament Street, said: “It usually takes me 45 minutes to reach my office. But today I was stuck in a jam between Mother Dairy and Laxmi Nagar metro station, barely a two-kilometre-long stretch, for an hour. ”
Several protesters, who were already present at the Karbala site, came out on the roads and blocked traffic in South and Central Delhi leading to traffic snarls till late in the evening.