Commissionerate watches helplessly as agitating parties take over roads, giving commuters a torrid time
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Nov 28: A day after he held a "successful discussion" with State government representatives who conceded to most of his demands, peasant leader Akhil Gogoi on Saturday took Guwahati to ransom, as his party led a walkathon - christened the 'Maha Sadbhav Yatra' - that paralysed traffic on the arterial GS road as well as the GNB road for hours.
The traffic srls prompted citizens to question the writ of the police commissionerate which allowed the KMSS 'padajatra' through the heart of the city.
The city witnessed unprecedented traffic jams for the second consecutive day. Yesterday, thousands of Congress workers had marched from Soram Field to Raj Bhavan demanding ouster of Governor PB Acharya.
Protesting what he called "commul politics" of the BJP & RSS, Akhil Gogoi led thousands of protestors from Khapara to Raj Bhavan through Ganeshguri, Ulubari and Nehru Stadium. The rally started at 9 am and concluded after 1.30 pm.
Let alone four-wheeler drivers, even motorcyclists had a harrowing time negotiating through chocked roads.
"I started from Six Mile at 11.30 on my motorcyle. Struggling to get along GS Road, I took an altertive route through Last Gate, but again got held up at Ganesguri. It took me over two and half hours to reach Ambari," said a motorist Dibyajyoti Parashar.
In several locations, drivers turned off their engines as they were stranded at the same place. Many of them questioned whether holding up people for hours on end is any solution to political problems.
Even senior government officials raised questions about the police commissioner for allowing such a rally in the capital city.
"Never before was such a rally allowed on the city roads. Why was Akhil Gogoi given this special treatment? Was it because of the issue he raised?" said another citizen Dwijen Gogoi, who pointed to police officials halting traffic at locations to facilitate the rally through the city roads.
It is learnt that the police commissioner had allowed a rally of only 500 people. But the police, for reasons best known to it, allowed the procession of over 3,000 people - much higher than the permitted capacity.
Senior officials have also told The Sentinel that the police commissionerate in principle had resolved not to allow any protests marches in the city - except in the Dighalipukhuri-RBI-Meghdoot Bhavan route.
If so, then why was an exception made for Akhil Gogoi? Is he now perceived by law enforcers to be on the same page with the power-be at Dispur?
"Normally, the police in the city are tough when it comes to Akhil Gogoi. We have seen the police dragging him from protest sites. He has been detained several times. But mysteriously, today he had a free run," said Abhinov Bora, a keen observer.