Several parts of the National Capital witnessed massive jams on Thursday morning as the Delhi police barricaded roads and imposed restrictions on traffic to crack down on protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Police imposed Section 144 near Red Fort and Mandi House in Delhi and several protesters who had arrived in the area for the march were detained. Videos and photos showed serpentine queues of vehicles at the Delhi-Gurugram border.
“Permission has not been granted for the protest march to be held by communist party from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar over The Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC at 12 pm today," the Delhi Police had announced in a tweet earlier in the day.
Traffic Alert :- Traffic congestion has been reported at Delhi-Gurugram border on NH 48 due to barricading by Delhi Police. @TrafficGGM is on the spot to facilitate the traffic. Inconvenience caused is highly regretted. @gurgaonpolice . pic.twitter.com/5R0TcHf8Rc — Gurugram Traffic Police (@TrafficGGM) December 19, 2019
Police also announced that the Mathura Road-Kalindi Kunj route has been closed for traffic movement, and asked commuters from Noida to enter Delhi through DND Flyway or the Akshardham road. Nineteen stations of the Delhi Metro were shut down. These were Jamia Millia, Jama Masjid, Munirka, Vasant Vihar, Mandi House, Patel Chowk, Lok Kalyan Marg, Udyog Bhawan, ITO, Pragati Maidan, Khan Market, Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh, Lal Quila, Vishwa Vidyalaya, Central Secretariat, Janpath, Barakhamba, Delhi Gate and Chandni Chowk.
Various airlines also advised travellers to the Indira Gandhi International Airport to keep the restrictions in mind to avoid missing their flights. Vistara Chief Commercial Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said even its airline crew was stuck due to the restrictions. "Due to heavy traffic jam, our crew transport heading to airport are also stuck for the past one hour near Ambience Mall Gurgaon. Very tough travel conditions today," he tweeted.
Historian Ramachandra Guha was among 30 protesters taken into custody in Bengaluru, where restrictions on public gathering have been imposed.