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Panchkula protest: Police remove agitating sarpanches from Chandigarh-Panchkula border after HC order

Under the banner of the Haryana Sarpanch Association, the protesters had been staging a dharna on the road connecting Haryana's Panchkula with Chandigarh since March 1 against an e-tendering system for development projects in rural areas, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Panchkula Updated on: March 04, 2023 23:42 IST
Police removed protesting sarpanches from the
Image Source : ANI Police removed protesting sarpanches from the Chandigarh-Panchkula border.

Panchkula protests: Protesting sarpanches of several villages of Haryana were evicted from the Chandigarh-Panchkula border on Saturday, following a Punjab and Haryana High Court order directing authorities to clear the road by 10 pm.

Under the banner of the Haryana Sarpanch Association, the protesters had been staging a dharna on the road connecting Haryana's Panchkula with Chandigarh since March 1 against an e-tendering system for development projects in rural areas, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Sarpanchs taken into custody

After the high court order on Saturday, the protesting sarpanches were taken into custody by the Haryana Police in the evening. Tents put up by them on one side of the road were also removed.

Two Panchkula residents had moved the high court against the blockade of the road and submitted that it was not only causing inconvenience to them but was also creating a lot of problems for plying of ambulances, school buses and other vehicles.

During the hearing, the additional advocate general of Haryana submitted that efforts were being made to remove the blockade and added that one side of the road has been cleared. It was also pointed out that the Haryana chief minister was going to meet the protesters on March 9.

In its order, the court stated, "Protest by unions or associations or people is permitted but at places which have been earmarked for the same. This does not give them a licence to put the general public to inconvenience and cause not only difficult for the people at large but virtually harassing them in a way leading to putting pressure and forcing the government to accept their demands."
Stating that every citizen has the right to commute, the court said that permitting law to be taken into own hands by a few people is not acceptable.

"Traffic cleared"

"We, therefore, are forced to pass an order that the respondent authorities shall see to it that the road is cleared of all blockades and obstructions so that there is no impediment or difficulty in movement of the traffic on any of the roads leading to Chandigarh from Panchkula and vice-versa. "We leave it open to the respondents to take steps as permissible in law for removal of the illegal occupants of the road. The said clearance of the road should come into effect by 10:00 pm today positively," the court order read. It also sought a compliance report on March 6.

The high court further said that in case its orders are not complied with, the deputy commissioner of Panchkula and the commissioner of police of Panchkula should appear before in court on a date fixed to explain the reasons for non-compliance.

Since the recently held panchayat polls in Haryana, the newly elected village heads have been protesting against the e-tendering system for development works in rural areas and claiming that it would curtail their spending powers. Under the e-tendering system, village heads can approve development works up to Rs 2 lakh at their own level but e-tendering is mandatory for projects above Rs 2 lakh.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read: Panchkula: Haryana govt employees protest outside CM house demanding restoration of Old Pension Scheme I WATCH

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