Gujarat: Villagers block highway, hurl stones after fatal accident; police lob 90 tear gas shells


PTI, May 24, 2024, 7:24 PM IST

Police lobbed around 90 tear gas shells after villagers blocked a busy highway and went on a rampage near Himmatnagar town in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district on Friday for nearly half an hour following the death of a local resident in a road accident, an official said.

The incident took place on National Highway 48 when a youth from Gamdi village died on the spot after being hit by a speeding car in the morning, he said. The highway connects Himmatnagar town with Shamlaji town in Gujarat and further with Udaipur in neighbouring Rajasthan.

Sabarkantha district Superintendent of Police, Vijay Patel, said residents of Gamdi village were already angry because of the delay in construction of a flyover near their village.

”Following the death of a youngster from Gamdi village in a road accident, the villagers came on to the road and blocked the highway as a mark of protest. When police reached the spot in three vehicles to clear the blockade, the villagers hurled stones at them and then set one of the vehicles on fire,” Patel told reporters. In order to control the situation, more police force was called in, he said, adding that the police lobbed nearly 90 tear gas shells to disperse the mob and clear the blockade.

The SP said the local police will file separate FIRs – one for the fatal accident and another against villagers for engaging in violence.

”Villagers told us that such accidents are taking place because of the delay in construction of a flyover on the highway. We learnt that though the flyover near Gamdi village has been approved and a contract was awarded in the past, the contractor was blacklisted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for not starting the work in time,” Patel said.

”Since the contractor has approached the high court against the order and obtained a stay, the work came to a halt. NHAI officials told us that the high court vacated the stay on May 14 and a new tender will be issued soon,” the SP said.

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