Four NHAI employees arrested after protests

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Phagwara, Feb 12 (UNI) Four employees of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have been taken into custody after the town today witnessed five-hour-long protests at many places by Dalit activists over removal of few boards and religious posters from ''Gol Chowk'' here.

The official vehicle has been impounded and removed religious posters had been recovered from them, DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh said here today.

Earlier, on noticing the removal, local dalit leaders and activists of various Dalits organisations assembled near the venue and started raising slogans against police and administration.

They also demanded immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for removing the posters of Guru Ravi Das and re-installation of new posters at the same venue.

Agitators blocked vehicular road traffic on national highways at 14 different places. Hundreds of Dalits led by BSP Leader M P Singh Goraya also blocked Goraya and Phillaur route.

Long Queues of buses, trucks, cars and other vehicles were seen strandard for more than five hours.

Bus Service between India and Pakistan was diverted via Jalandhar-Nakodar-Noormahal-Bilga and Phillaur roads to avoid any untoward incident Situation became more tense, when mob of youths armed with sticks and swords began to force closure of markets and panicky shopkeepers pulled down their shutters. In places, incidents of ransacking, intimidating and damaging vehicles and proprty were also reported.

The situation was difused only after Phagwara SDM Amarjeet Paul and DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh assured stringent actions against the guilty and informed protesters that case has been registered under section 295A of the IPC against one NHAI Inspector and four others.

They were later arrested.

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