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Regular battle of roadbocks

August 4: Peeved over the alleged negligence of cops over the death of a girl late last month, the family members and neighbours of the deceased stage protest at Rajapur Pul. Vehicles stopped on the busy road for almost three hours

August 2: A conflict between the autorickshaw drivers and autostand owners results in refusal of plying vehicles between Patna Junction and Gandhi Maidan Road. The blocking of both the roads results in traffic going haywire in all roads

July 24: A large group of students belonging to political parties gather at Dakbungalow roundabout shouting slogans against Patna University. The roadblock paralyses the city completely with people gasping for breath

Protests and roadblocks over law and order problems have taken a toll on the commuters, especially in the peak business hours.

Police, on the other hand, feel the anger of people, who hardly listen to any explanation, causes major problems in investigation besides tackling vehicles in the snarl.

In the monsoon session of the Assembly, water resources minister Vijay Choudhary had said there was a tendency of people to immediately create ruckus and violence after an incident which resulted in the police losing out on collecting evidences and concentrate on taking action aimed at crowd control.

“We face this almost everyday. In last week of July, there was an accident near Fatuha which had resulted in a major jam up to Patna. It took the police more than three hours to make the people understand and clear the jam,” a police officer said.

Senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj said the police should follow the rulebook in such crisis situations. “In Patna, the situation gets volatile easily and cops have to act according to the situation. An unruly mob is a problem always but the police have to act accordingly,” he said.

“There have been many incidents in Patna where a murder has led to people immediately blocking roads and also clashing with the police. In such a scenario, the police too don’t have any options but to resort to a lathicharge to disperse the mob. In any investigation, the first hour is very crucial and any murderer or a chain snatcher or any criminal who is on the run after committing a crime, has the maximum chance of getting arrested if the police are informed on time. But here in most cases, the police have to spend the maximum hours in settling an unruly mob rather than investigation,” another police officer said.

Sources in the police headquarters said fresh instructions were sent to act tough without much wait in case an important part of the town was witnessing violence.