Talapady: The protest against functioning of Talapady toll gate on Kerala-Karnataka border area entered second day on Thursday as several organisations, from Kerala and Karnataka joined hands and thronged the spot. The police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob. Tension prevailed in the area for sometime as the angry mob refused to move out.
The contractors of the toll plaza-Navayuga had started collecting the toll on Wednesday. The locals backed by organisations like Gadinadu Rakshana Vedike, Congress and others staged a stir on Wednesday where 12 persons were arrested following which the protesters had left the place.
However, on Thursday the protesters returned to the spot and objected to the contractor’s move of collecting toll from the locals. They insisted that local vehicles must be exempted and that the toll collection must begin only after NH-66 widening works are completed. The protesters tried to break open the toll collection cabins. The protesters picketed the toll gate from Kerala and Karnataka sides, thereby intensifying the stir.
UDF leader and Manjeshwar MLA Abdul Razak, who was at the spot said that the incomplete NH work and toll collection have caused inconvenience to the commuters. He said that collection of toll must be stopped immediately.
Majeshwar Cogress leader Harshad Varkady endorsed the views of Manjeshwar MLA. Situation turned tense when the police tried to take several SDPI and Gadinadu Rakshana Vedike leaders into custody.
Budging down to the demands of the protesters and seeing the seriousness of the situation Navayuga Manager Bhanuprakash assured the protesters that toll would not be collected from local vehicles till Thursday evening and that the next course of action would be taken by the company after its in-house meeting. The protesters left the place with this assurance.
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