Days after a Class IX student was found hanging at her home in Noida’s Sector 52, her family and friends protested outside Ahlcon International School and the Akshardham flyover on Thursday, blocking a crucial portion of NH-24.
“It’s been three days and no one has been arrested. This is complete inaction on part of the police, and we protested against that,” said the brother of the 15-year-old girl. The family alleged that she was sexually harassed by two teachers in school — a charge which was added by police to the FIR on Wednesday. After protesting outside the school in the morning, the group moved towards Akshardham flyover. The girl’s family alleged that “police lathicharged and detained them even though it was a peaceful protest”.
“My parents were manhandled, and an uncle of mine is in hospital after his ear was injured in the lathicharge… even I have hurt my foot. Police put us in a bus and drove us around before dropping us off home in the evening,” claimed the brother. A police officer said the claims of lathicharge are being verified.
The protest caused a major traffic snarl on NH-24 on Thursday afternoon, which lasted till the evening. Obstruction of traffic from Noida Link Road towards Akshardham and from Akshardham to Noida was reported, leaving thousands of commuters stranded for hours. “I take this route to my office in Noida daily. I have rarely seen such a traffic jam. I was stuck for 90 minutes, and there were no traffic policemen to decongest the route,” a commuter said.
Special CP (Traffic) Depender Pathak, however, told The Indian Express, “We regulated traffic in coordination with UP Police within a few hours. It was a 90-minute jam on NH-24 due to the protest on Akshardham flyover.” Police are yet to make an arrest in the case. Superintendent of Police (City) Arun Kumar Singh said, “We are collecting evidence regarding the allegations by the family. We have to get the exam sheets checked since the family says she was deliberately failed. The allegation of sexual assault against the teachers too need to be verified as one of the teachers is a woman.”