Friday, September 30, 2022

Bharat Bandh over Agnipath: Trains cancelled, traffic jams across Delhi-NCR

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Over 80 trains have been cancelled, and significant traffic jams have been reported across Delhi-NCR on Monday, as certain organisations have called for a “Bharat Bandh” to protest the Central government’s Agnipath recruiting plan, which was announced last week. This came only one day after Tri-service chiefs ruled out scrapping the arrangement.

Commuting in the national capital was tough as significant traffic jams were reported in many sections of the city, notably on the Delhi-Gurugram highway, as Delhi Police constructed barriers at numerous checkpoints in the aftermath of the Bharat Bandh over the Agnipath Scheme. Precautionary steps are being implemented at several railway stations across multiple states after several stations were vandalised and numerous trains were set fire by agitators.

On Monday, almost 80 trains were cancelled due to protests in various regions of the nation over the new Armed Forces recruiting programme. Train services of the Western Railway zone were affected yesterday as well.

As the police strengthened security across the city and its surrounding areas, parts of Delhi experienced traffic congestion. Massive traffic congestion were reported on the Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway as well as the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. Congress leaders staged a ‘Satyagraha’ in the national capital’s Jantar Mantar to show sympathy with armed forces aspirants protesting the ‘Agnipath’ plan. According to Delhi Minister Gopal Rai, numerous organisations would organise an unified demonstration at the protest venue.

In view of these developments, Delhi Police Public Relations Officer Suman Nalwa told ANI, “All roads, shops, establishments and markets are open here. The situation is normal. We won’t tolerate anarchy here. The Police are prepared to tackle anti-social elements who could attempt to vandalise public property. We don’t expect any law and order problem to arise here.”

“We had received a few intelligence inputs that some groups from other states have been planning to stage a protest in Delhi. Taking into consideration those intelligence inputs, we have made solid security arrangements at the borders,” Suman Nalwa added.

Thousands of cars were stranded at the Delhi-Gurugram and Delhi-Noida entrance crossings due to security checks following the Bharat Bandh called by some parties in response to the Agnipath military recruiting plan. Police at the national capital’s access gates were keeping a close eye on all cars to ensure that no Agnipath protester entered the city.

On June 17, a group of Congress leaders resolved to see President Ram Nath Kovind on June 20 to inform him of the alleged mistreatment and harassment of party MPs by Delhi Police during rallies over the ED’s interrogation of Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

Speaking further on this development, Suman Nalwa said, “I have seen some clips. I don’t think that it would be appropriate for me to comment on it at this moment. Let the law take its own course.”

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