Unprecedented protest barricading hits traffic
New Delhi: By Thursday morning, the Delhi Police had fortified the entire area around Jantar Mantar ahead of the farmers' protest there and gone to the lengths of placing unprecedented security measures around the area to ensure no disturbance marr the planned protest. But amid this heavy barricading and security measures, traffic in the area was severely hit even as traffic units worked on diversionary routes.
New and heavy barricades, CCTV cameras were put in place as security measures. "CCTV cameras were installed at strategic points including trees to capture all the events," an official said. The whole Jantar Mantar was turned into a fortress where after entry it can be closed.
The traffic unit also prepared the route map including the diversions which will be given to commuters on Thursday.
"Traffic movement is affected due to Local Police Picket on following roads, AIIMS towards Aurobindo chowk, Noida towards Delhi at Kalindi Kunj, Noida towards Akshardham at Chilla Border, Noida towards Ashram at DND and Ghaziabad towards Delhi at Pandav Nagar," tweeted Delhi Traffic Police.
After the DDMA permitted the protest on Wednesday, Commissioner Balaji Srivastava had also taken rounds around Jantar Mantar to check security measures.
Later in the day, meetings were held between the top brass of Delhi Police and also the district police held their own meeting regarding the security arrangements.
In bordering areas as well, deployments were made and barricades were put in place. And policemen were deployed at strategic locations. Before the protest, Delhi Police once again held meetings and were seen briefing the staff on the spot regarding their deployment.
Moreover, even the Intelligence Bureau had raised a security alert about a video being allegedly circulated by the banned Sikhs for Justice outfit. Security agencies were alerted and security was tightened. There were also speculations about January 26-like violence being repeated.
Deepak Yadav, DCP (New Delhi) said they had made full-proof security arrangements and Jantar Mantar was totally sealed. "Both Delhi Police and paramilitary forces were deployed. Women companies were also deployed," he said.
"Elaborate security arrangements were made by Delhi Police to ensure that the programme remained peaceful, keeping in view the ongoing Parliament session and the Independence Day requirements," he said, adding that similar cooperation and coordination is anticipated in future.
Minor scuffle: However, the protest on Thursday was briefly disrupted by a minor scuffle between some media persons, after which the Delhi Police temporarily detained a person claiming to be a freelance journalist — and had hitched a ride to the protest with the farmers. The police have not received a formal complaint in the matter.
A media person said a person was abusing a woman journalist while she was doing live for her channel. When he along with other people tried to stop him, that person attacked them. Later in the night, the police released the man.
Police said a scuffle took place in the media enclosure in the morning between two journalists one Nagender Gosain (Hindi news channel) was allegedly hit by one Parabhjot Singh (freelancer) at Jantar Mantar. He has an injury on his hand.