Chaos reigns as Delhi-Gurugram border is sealed

Serpentine queues of vehicles seen; people argue with police, stage protest against the minister’s order

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurugram, May 29

There was chaos on the Delhi-Gurugram border on Friday after the border was sealed, leading to long queues of vehicles, commuters arguing with police and staging a protest.

Acting on Home Minister Anil Vij’s order, the Gurugram police sealed the Delhi-Gurugram-Sirhaul border on NH 8, Chakkarpur border on Mehrauli-Gurugram (MG) road, old Delhi road at Kapashera and other stretches connected to Delhi.

Police were deployed in great numbers and barricades put up, blocking entry of people barring those with valid passes and involved in essential services.

Chaos started at around 8 am when social media went abuzz with reports of a free run at the border despite Vij's order. Within minutes the administration and local police swung into action allowing restricted entry. Soon a group of around 50 cyclists who claimed to be industrial workers blocked the road after being stopped from crossing the border.

They alleged that while cars were being allowed to go they were stopped. The blockage led to a massive jam and police refused entry to all others, including those having daily travel passes by Gurugram, Delhi and Noida administrations.

The police opened just one lane at the border for letting in those with essential services. Soon, vehicles accumulated, people argued with cops and were turned away. This all was on when this report was filed.

“Is this some kind of joke that one day you say ‘get a pass and come, start your office’; and the next day the minister out of the blue decides on closing the border. After driving for an hour we are made to stand and are roughed up by cops. I have a tech start-up and am due for an important meeting with an investor. When I reached the border I was denied entry despite having a valid daily pass issued by the Gurugram DC. The cops have no written orders allowing them to block our entry,” said Rajan Shrivastav, a Noida resident with his office in Sector 44.

Many patients and private hospital doctors also claimed that they were denied entry. “I had booked an appointment with an endocrinologist on Practo. I was stopped at the border as cops refused to acknowledge the online acceptance of appointment, asking for a hospital’s doctor card or patient record. This is against the MHA guidelines,” said Sudipta Gogoi, a resident of Delhi's Vasant Vihar.

Interestingly, one of the cops on duty on the Sirhaul border said, “We allowed somebody with an online appointment and soon people stood there making bookings to get entry. We have to exercise restraint. There were many people who had expired passes but went ahead changing them through a software. Despite being repeatedly asked to maintain social distancing they got out and argued.”

Gurugram reported 68 fresh cases on Thursday and 121 in the past one week.

Commissioner appeals

Gurugram CP Maohamad Akil said, “We are allowing all those mandated by the Delhi high court, who are involved in essential services, with valid passes. This is for safety of all citizens and they should abide by the orders. The cops on border are risking their lives to everyone safe, so please cooperate with us.”

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