Commuters have been told not to use Sector 25/38 on Dakshin Marg and the Panjab University road near Chitkara International School, Sector 25, on Udyog Path in view of the huge rally that Akali Dal workers would be taking out in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Ambulances and hearses will be allowed to pass through these stretches and police will ensure that emergency and funeral vehicles do not face any hurdle. The entry of other vehicles will be restricted on these roads from 9 am to 5 pm though. The cremation ground at Sector 25 is situated near the Rally Ground. Sources said people, numbering 15,000 to 20,000, were expected to come to the Rally Ground at Sector 25 under the Akali Dal banner on Tuesday. Over 1,100 vehicles, including buses, trucks and trollies, are expected to bring Akali Dal workers to the city.
A senior police officer said people, coming from Zirakpur, Derabassi and Kharar, were also advised to start from their houses early in the morning if they do not want to get stuck in traffic jams. The officer added that commuters can also use alternative routes. For example, if a man from Derabassi wants to go to Panjab University, he should avoid Dakshin Marg and travel from the side of Panchkula to enter Chandigarh instead. Meanwhile, thousands of Anganwadi workers throughout Punjab will also descend on Chandigarh to stage a protest, demanding the fulfilment of their demands near the Punjab Social Welfare Department at Sector 34 on Tuesday.
Around 1,800 police personnel, including women, have been deployed to maintain law and order. Chandigarh Police has also taken the help of Punjab and Haryana police. Akali Dal leaders decided to go to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to gherao the Assembly on various issues, including loan waiver for farmers, on Tuesday, the first day of the session. But, Chandigarh police will not allow them to go ahead of the rally ground, Sector 25.
DIG (UT) OP Mishra said, “Thousands of Akali Dal workers have been allowed to gather at the rally ground in Sector 25. They will not be allowed to go beyond the rally ground and adequate security arrangements are in place to stop them there. We have received manpower from Punjab and Haryana police as well.”
Half-a-dozen water cannon vehicles and fire tenders, along with two Vajra vans, will be stationed at the rally ground. Five DSP-rank officers and three IPS officers will be present at the rally. Incidentally, Akali Dal workers have approached the managements of several gurdwaras to arrange food for party workers.
Inspector Ajay Kumar, SHO of PS 34, said, “The Anganwadi Workers Association has announced the arrival of 10,000 workers from across Punjab in Sector 34 on Tuesday. They will also try to go to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha after staging a protest at Sector 34. We have made adequate arrangements to stop them here.”