Nearly 7,000 police personnel were deployed across the city on Wednesday for the Maratha community’s protest march for reservation. The police said no untoward incident was reported and traffic had not been affected. Police personnel were deployed along the entire route of the protest, from the Byculla Zoo to Azad Maidan. At least 1,000 police personnel were deployed at the zoo, the starting point of the march, the police said.
Senior traffic police officers said no unusual congestion was caused because of the protest after south-bound traffic from junctions leading to Dr B A Road, where the march took place, was restricted. Major roads around Azad Maidan were closed for traffic for the duration of the protest. “It helped that we had announced the traffic restrictions two days in advance. We kept a watch on other parts of the city where the cascading effect of the traffic restrictions could be felt. But no traffic jams were reported,” said an officer.
An additional 600-700 traffic personnel were deployed across the city, including at the Eastern and Western Express Highways, to deal with excessive traffic, the police said. The police said there were stray incidents through the day where motorists who were unaware that the J J flyover had been shut were inconvenienced and had to take alternative routes. A senior officer added that as parking spaces for protesters’ vehicles had been clearly marked, there was no congestion on the roads.