Gujjars take to streets in NCR, affect normal life
New Delhi, Jun 4: Normal life was today affected in various parts of the national capital region, as agitating Gujjars torched vehicles and pelted stones during a bandh called by them to demand ST status.
Police had to open shots in the air in Noida to disperse the violent agitators.
Trouble started since morning, mainly in the border areas, when a crowd of Gujjars squatted on the main roads and forcibly stopped passing vehicles despite heavy police bandobast.
The agitators also blocked the New Delhi-Howrah rail track at various places near Ghaziabad and Dadri, resulting into the delayed running of the trains. No reports of injuries to passengers during the violent demonstrations have been recieved so far.
Railway authorities have stopped several trains enroute as a precautionary measure. The trains included three Rajdhani Expresses.
In Noida, the unruly mobs pelted stones at vehicles of senior district administration and police authorities and injured several policemen. They also set ablaze a UP Roadways bus in Kasna market area.
Police fired five rounds in air in order to control the situation.
The agitators also stopped trains on the main track. According to the Station Master of Dadri railway station, the agitators stopped North East Express and Howrah-bound Kalka mail, Gomti Express, Vikramshila Express, Shatabdi Express, Sampoorna Kranti Express, Garib Rath, several AMU and superfast trains.
The expressway to Delhi and Noida was also jammed by the mobs.
In Greater Noida also, two buses were set on fire.
A team of UNI correspondents who visited the trouble-torn areas found the roads linking Anand Vihar to Ghazipur crossing was littered with bricks and stones while several DTC buses were stranded as their tyres were deflated. Protestors gathered at Wazirpur area, Khichdipur, Gazipur and Dhulupura areas raising slogans and marching across the streets.
Violence was reported from Ayanagar and Badarpur areas in south Delhi and Ghazipur area in east Delhi after the protestors indulged in stone pelting and clashed with police.
In Ghitorni area of south Delhi, several people were rounded up when they attacked the police.
Incidents of stone pelting were also reported from the Loni border and in Pandav Nagar area.
Traffic snarls were reported from several areas in the cities, including Noida Expressway, Mayur Vihar area, Delhi-Jaipur Highway and Lakshmi Nagar area.
Agitated demonstators also blocked traffic on the Faridabad-Gurgaon highway.
A traffic jam was also reported on the Delhi-Faridabad highway with people blocking the road with stones and barricades while others burnt the effigy of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
On the Delhi-Jaipur highway, protestors blocked roads by parking vehicles and refused to allow movement of traffic despite the presence of police personnels.
Delhi police has spread a security blanket all over the city, specially on the border areas where the Gujjars reside in large numbers.
Security pickets have been set up at several places in border areas to screen people coming from outside to Delhi.
Patrolling all over the city has been intensified and enough security personnel deployed at several strategic points to prevent any violence or untoward incident, said a Delhi police spokesman.