Uttarakhand Stone-Pelting Incident: CM Orders Magisterial Probe, Says 'Professional Andolanjeevis' Are Misguiding People On Road Widening Issue
Garsain, the summer capital of the state, was the site of stone-pelting by a mob recently.
Angry protesters pelted stones at police personnel near Garsain in Uttarakhand on 1 March (Monday). Police had to resort to lathi-charge and use water cannons for dispersing the mob.
The protesters were marching towards the Uttarakhand Assembly in Garsain to demand the widening of a 19-km road that connects Ghat and Nandprayag in district Chamoli.
Garsain is the summer capital of the state and the Assembly is witnessing the ongoing budget session.
Security personnel tried to stop the protestors from marching towards the Assembly. The protesters turned violent and began pelting stones at the policemen.
Chamoli SP Yashwant Singh spoke to the local media. He is quoted as saying: "With their demand for widening of the road, they called for a march to the Assembly. Attempts were made to stop the protesters at Jangalchatti barrier, but they moved further after a scuffle."
He added that the protesters were again stopped at Diwalikhal — the final barrier. The protesters hurled stones at the police here due to which many jawans sustained injuries and one sustained serious injuries on the head.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that the clash between police and the demonstrators was "extremely unfortunate".
He added that the incident is being taken seriously and said that a magisterial enquiry will be ordered into the matter. He said that those responsible won't be spared.
People from Uttarakhand's Nandprayag Ghat have been staging a demonstration. They are demanding the widening of the road.
CPI(ML) leader in Uttarakhand, Indresh Maikhuri, tweeted on the incident. He said that CM Rawat first gets his police personnel to beat people and then make them lie.
CM Rawat said that his government had already addressed the matter and had decided to link the blocks with the "dedh lane" (1.5 laned) road, but some people are spreading rumours on the matter despite the decisions and steps taken by the government. He also said that truth will come out and people should not be misguided by "professional andolanjeevis".
Rawat said he had already approved the broadening of the 19-km road from Ghat to Nandprayag. He added that as per the Motor Vehicles Act, "a single road can be made 1.5-laned only when the traffic on the road is 3,000 vehicles per day."
He added that on this particular route (between Ghat and Nandprayag), vehicle movement was only 300 per day.
He said, "During a visit to Almora and later to Chamoli, I announced the widening of this road, as we intend to have broader roads from all 95 blocks to their respective district headquarters. Roads with less traffic movement will be made 1.5-laned while those with heavy traffic will be made double-laned.”
Rawat attacked the Opposition and said: “They want to create instability and an atmosphere of uncertainty for their own benefit.”
Congress MLA and senior leader Pritam Singh accused the BJP-led government of resorting to "high handedness against villagers who were exercising their democratic right to hold protest for their demand of widening the 19-km road in their village in Ghat area near Gairsain."
Senior leader in Uttarakhand BJP Devendra Bhasin said that the incident was unfortunate and the magisterial enquiry ordered into the matter by CM Rawat will get the truth out.
He added that parties that had been absent when it came to people's issues in Uttarakhand and never were concerned with the wellbeing of people, have no right to speak. He added that those people are now trying to get some visibility as the state moves towards elections. He said, "Wo ab akasmaat chunaav mein aake apne aap ko pradarshit karne ki koshish kar rahe hain."
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