PESHAWAR, Jan 16: The protest procession and sit-in on Sher Shah Suri Road outside Governor’s House caused severe traffic problems here on Wednesday as most of the thoroughfares remained closed and passengers had to march towards their destinations.
The personnel of Military Police restricted movement of vehicles and pedestrians at different checkpoints near Bara Road and diverted the traffic to narrow link road of Gulberg. The road remained blocked owing to absence of police as vehicles on both sides had to follow the same route.
The sit-in was staged by residents of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency against killing of their relatives. They brought the coffins of their relatives and staged sit-in outside the Governor’s House.
The people coming from Hayatabad were not allowed to travel on Bara Road to reach Saddar Bazaar. They had to move ahead on Canal Road or Ring Road for entering cantonment area through different link roads.
The movement of vehicles on Sher Shah Suri Road was blocked owing to sit-in outside Governor’s House and police had placed barbed wire at three different places near FC Chowk, Mall Road, PTCL headquarters, Secretariat, Suri Pul and Peshawar Central Jail.
Similarly, traffic was diverted from Suri Pul to Bacha Khan Chowk and Shami Road. In the morning the vehicles were allowed to ply on Shuba Bazaar Road, but later traffic police diverted them to City Circular Road.
The people coming to Saddar had to disembark from vehicles near Suri Pul and march towards Saddar. The passengers including women and children were seen walking on foot towards their destinations.
The Grand Trunk Road also remained blocked that flooded the link roads including Dalazak Road, Bacha Khan Chowk, Charsadda Road and Gulbahar Road. The students were hit hard by the traffic mess as school buses were not allowed to take them to the respective bus stops.
“I have to take my three children on motorcycle to Gulbahar because the school van was not allowed to come to the school,” a man told journalists near FC Chowk.
A traffic police official said that movement of passenger vehicles was already banned on Khyber Road and the entire heavy traffic was diverted to Sher Shah Suri Road but the sit-in left police with only option to divert it to City Circular Road or Ring Road.
Rural Circle SP Javed Khan told Dawn that diversion of traffic was a compulsion as protesters were emotional and there was possibility of clash between them and law enforcers. “We diverted the traffic to maintain peace,” he said.
The SP said that the incident had taken place in Bara but people brought the issue to Peshawar, creating problems for police.