Chandigarh: Activists of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Monday blocked the national highway near Ambala and four other roads in Haryana as they started their one-day ‘Road Roko Aandolan’ (road blockade protest).
Scores of INLD activists hoodwinked the Haryana Police and central security forces and blocked the NH-1 near Ambala, around 45 km from here.
The protestors blocked the busy highway, that links Delhi with Amritsar, at a point two km away from where they were originally supposed to stop the traffic from Punjab from entering Haryana at the Shambhu barrier.
The activists came on the highway and blocked it with their vehicles.
Traffic was also stopped near Dabwali town in Haryana’s Sirsa district.
The INLD was seeking immediate construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal in Punjab to bring more water to Haryana.
Hundreds of security personnel from central security forces and Haryana Police were stationed at all five places along the States’ border in view of the INLD protest.
Senior Haryana Police officers were stationed at the protest points since early on Monday.
“We are fully geared for any situation. We will take action depending on the situation,” Haryana Police Additional Director General (ADGP) RC Mishra said at the Shambhu barrier.
Security personnel in riot gear, riot-control vehicles and other equipment were put up at all points to maintain law and order.
The vehicles were being stopped at five places – the Lalru-Chandigarh stretch on NH-1, Ambala-Shambhu border on NH-1, Narwana-Dhanauri border, Ratia-Budhlada road (Jakhal point) in Fatehabad district and Dabwali in Sirsa district.
Emergency vehicles, like ambulances, would be exempted from the protest, the INLD leaders said.
INLD General Secretary Abhay Singh Chautala would go to all five protest points on a helicopter.
Authorities in Punjab have decided not to send buses from State-run companies to Haryana on Monday as a precautionary measure.
“As a gesture of goodwill towards the people of Punjab, our workers have made arrangements for flowers which would be given to commuters from Punjab,” Chautala said earlier.
“The workers would also urge the commuters to pressurise the Punjab government to complete the construction of SYL canal,” he added.
The police was likely to divert traffic on some routes in the wake of the protest.