Amid political high drama, Delhi streets come to standstill


Several prominent streets in central Delhi on Wednesday were choked owing to the high political drama that unfolded at various places in the national capital following the alleged suicide of an ex-serviceman over OROP issue.

Vehicular movement was thrown out of gear at Gol Dak Khana roundabout, Outer Circle of Connaught Place, Panckuian Road, Ashoka Road, Baba Kharag Singh Marg, Kali Bari Marg, Mandir Marg, Tilak Marg and ITO, a senior traffic police officer said.

Commuters had a harrowing time as thick layer of smog coupled with bumper-to-bumper ride made situation worse.

The alleged suicide of the army veteran today snowballed into a huge political showdown in the capital with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal being detained by police separately amid high drama.

Mr Gandhi and Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia visited RML Hospital earlier in the day to meet the family of the deceased. However, the Congress vice president’s attempts to enter the premises went in vain as heavy security restricted his entry.

Mr Gandhi, Mr Sisodia and other AAP and Congress leaders were detained and taken to different police stations in Lutyens’ Delhi.

A couple of hours later, Mr Gandhi was detained again and taken to Tilak Marg police station triggering traffic congestion on the already busy ITO intersection and neighbouring roads.
The situation started worsening from late afternoon when the leaders were detained and the street chaos heightened due to protests by various parties and office-goers returning home.

Mr Kejriwal was stalled by police at Lady Hardinge Hospital for over four hours leading to traffic coming to a standstill on Panchkuian Road, Connaught Place and neighbouring streets.

“Traffic in central area was the worst hit as it is most frequented by commuters travelling to other parts of the city.

The protests and the detentions of leaders coupled with onlookers gathering on streets added to traffic woes,” added the officer.

The Twitter handle of Delhi Traffic Police kept posting update about roads that were closed and the diversions that were put in place owing to the congestion and protests.

Traffic movement was restricted on Talkatora Road and Baba Kharag Singh Marg.

“Obstruction in traffic in the carriageway from ITO towards ISBT due to breakdown of two DTC buses on Hanuman Setu,” the traffic police tweeted.