Bangalore Traffic in protesters’ favour

Police measures to contain the anti-CAA protests were befuddled by Bangalore’s infamous traffic.
Written By Thulasi Ram | Updated: December 20, 2019 14:54 IST
Bangalore Traffic in protesters’ favour

Events on Thursday at Bangalore’s Town Hall took an unexpectedly comic turn as protesters who got carted away from the venue simply walked back. This was the same protest at which Ramachandra Guha got detained, and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) sang the National Anthem with protesters. 

The police had brought a bus to Town Hall in order to remove protesters from the area. However, the enormous turnout meant that the bus was forced to make multiple trips. The first batch of protesters got picked up and dropped at Shantinagar Bus Station on Double Road/Kengal Hanumanthiah Road. The bus then turned back, returning to Town Hall to pick up more protesters.
The distance between the two points is approximately only two and a half kilometers. In addition, Shantinagar Bus Station had a negligible police presence on the day. As a result, many protesters simply got off the bus and walked back to Town Hall to continue protesting. The condition of the roads, combined with Bangalore's famously bad traffic, meant that many of the protesters reached Town Hall before or just after the bus. As the evening wore on, the size of the crowd continued to swell, as several students from the National Law School of India University joined the protests.
Eventually, the police, rather than engaging in violence, attempted to open discussions with the protesters. Detainees who got arrested earlier in the day had released, and the Bangalore City Commissioner of Police, Bhaskar Rao, met with community leaders and the Chief Minister to try and negotiate a peaceful end to the situation.