A group activists of the India Against Corruption (IAC) allegedly blocked traffic at the Karjan toll plaza on National Highway 8 over payment of toll tax on Thursday evening and reportedly forced the authorities to let them go without paying any money.
A convoy of around 25 cars on their way to Ralegan Siddhi, the village of activist Anna Hazare in Maharashtra, reached the plaza located about 30 km from Vadodara around 5.45pm.
“They told us they were supporters of Anna Hazare and were on their way to his village to meet him. They asked us to let them go without paying toll and threatened to block traffic. When I refused to grant their appeal, they blocked traffic for almost an hour,” Ajaysinh Thakor, manager of the toll plaza, told The Indian Express.
When the activists allegedly blocked lanes of the road, Thakor called police and the issue was resolved after the IAC convoy was allowed to go without paying the toll tax of Rs 80 per car. “I had to give in to their demand as lines of vehicles were getting longer. Even police could not control them as they were fewer in number,” Thakor said, adding that he would think of filing a police complaint tomorrow.
Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Bijendra Khokhar, who was leading the rally, said they had been travelling on national highways since they left Raj Ghat in Delhi on January 7 and no other toll plaza manager had asked for tax.
“Instead, they all came down to us and welcomed us since we are going for a social cause, a national cause. But here was an issue because the manager asked his security men to handle us. So we had to protest since there was no board stating for how many years the company had the right to collect toll,” Khokhar said over phone.
Incidentally, Karjan is the same toll plaza where former MP Vitthal Radadia had brandished his gun and threatened Thakor over similar issue a few months ago.