Violent protests in NCR ahead of ‘Padmaavat’ release
NEW DELHI/GURGAON/NOIDA: In the name of protecting a queen’s honour, an anti-Padmaavat mob attacked school buses taking children home in Gurgaon on Wednesday afternoon. The violence left at slightest one school bus poorly damaged and scores of kids, who cowered on the ground to protect themselves from bricks airborne at the windows and glass shards from shattered bus panes, deeply shocked.
At least seven schools in Gurgaon and Noida announced a holiday on Thursday in view of the violence. The attack was the most serious among acts of sporadic violence in parts of Delhi-NCR as Padmaavat hit screens on Wednesday. In the capital, there were three-four minor protests which were quickly contained. No shows were disrupted in any part of the region and saw fairly good attendance.
The aggression in Gurgaon took on consign on the Gurgaon-Alwar main road at Bhondsi. eyewitness said the mob was armed with gasoline bombs and also tried to set bonfire to the school bus, which was thwarted by the police. There were 24 kids and three teachers of GD Goenka World School (Sohna Road) within the bus. Half an hour earlier, approximately 3pm, it had stopped a Haryana Roadways bus on the conflicting lane and set it on fire, leaving some traveler with minor injuries.
The mob was made up mostly of young boys barely 20 years old or a bit older. TOI saw numerous of them in school consistent or PT (physical training) dresses as they ran amok on a extend between the local police station and the Indian Reserve Battallion (IRB) campus. There were only 40 of them but they managed to hold up the whole highway for three hours by letting loose a rapid fracture of aggression that caught the police by surprise despite a state of high alert being declared 24 hours ago. Police said 24 alleged protesters were detained.
“There were people who were protesting on the road and the cops were trying to disperse them. Suddenly, the mob came from nowhere and started throwing stones at us,” said Pravesh Kumar, who was at the wheel of the GD Goenka school bus (HR55 J3112) and managed to keep driving so that the bus did not become a sitting duck to the mob attack.
In the capital, a collection of Karni Sena group smashed the windscreen of a few cars parked on the roadside near a cinema hall in Maurya Enclave in northwest Delhi, while a different group created a ruckus close to a mall in Prashant Vihar on Thursday. They were, however, contained by the police after which they knocked down a a small number of barricade and fled.