The Atal Tunnel has become a tourist attraction of sorts since it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in October this year. However, despite regulations in place, several tourists often halt midway to click pictures.
Now, in a recent incident, the Himachal Pradesh Police took seven people, on a road trip to Kullu-Manali, in custody. The youngsters now arrested were seen taking pictures by parking their cars in the middle of the tunnel in Rohtang. They were also singing, dancing and recording videos. Several video clips from the incident have gone viral which also helped the cops to expedite the action.
Police stated that they created a nuisance with loud music which caused a long traffic jam. The irresponsible behaviour of the seven held, not only disturbed the traffic but also caused inconvenience to other commuters. Those into police custody are aged between 19 and 25 years, all residents of Narela, Delhi. The police registered a case based on multiple complaints and detained the seven persons who were enroute the Manali-Leh highway. The three vehicles they were onboard have been seized. The investigation is ongoing and police are likely to arrest more people after checking the CCTV footage.
A police official told The Times of India, “Tourists caused nuisance inside the tunnel which was a clear violation of traffic rules. This kind of traffic chaos will not be tolerated".
Those booked in the case are identified as Rishav Gupta (19), Raveen Mangal (19), Shivam Singal (19), Ritik Goyal (20), Harpreet Singh (12), Simran Singh (25) and their driver Sandeep (37).
It is banned and illegal to stop inside the Atal Tunnel. It is an all-weather 9.02 km long road at an elevation of 10,000 feet which connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti. It is the longest highway tunnel in the world.