Nanguneri after Chengalpattu... Another toll gate violence!

Despite the series of clashes and protests, the toll plazas have been amplifying the issues and pains for the passengers and road travelers. On January 25th, 2020, Paranur toll plaza in Chengalpattu had witnessed the unprecedented riots and violence after the toll worker and the government bus crew had clashed each other that caused a melee. Their arguments had instigated the passengers of other buses to storm and to devastate the toll booths of the plaza. The reports have stated that Rs 18 lakh was reportedly embezzled from the toll booths by the miscreants during the ruckus.

With having heated violence in the Chengalpattu toll gate which connects the route the Chennai, the Nanguneri toll plaza in Tirunelveli district had accounted for similar violence one day after Chengalpattu violence was reported. The toll workers in Nanguneri had allegedly clashed with the people including women who were traveling to Tuticorin. Our sources have stated that Sheikh Sulaimaan, a native of Kanyakumari had traveled with dozens of his relations to Tuticorin to attend a wedding ceremony and when they hit the toll plaza in Nanguneri, their vehicles were struck down in the middle of heavy traffic and the vehicles were idle nearly for thirty minutes.

The damaged toll booths of the Paranur toll plaza after the violence


After having been caught up in the traffic, Sulaimaan's relation had approached the toll plaza staff to clear the traffic and they attacked him in return and when Sulaimaan had cleared the toll fare, the toll plaza worker stated the discrepancy on the Internet and took more time in providing the receipts. Sulaimaan's relatives have told that they need no receipts for the fare and pleaded the worker to clear their passage but the worker was dumb in earing their requests and the apathy of the worker had driven the argument between them and relatives of Sulaimaan.

The sources have revealed that after the relatives' word clashed with the toll plaza workers, the mob that was in the plaza for security reasons had surrounded them and started attacking them with rods and weapons and the attackers shown their brutality towards women and after they unleashed the attacks, the passengers and riders from other vehicles came to the spot and rescued the relatives. After reported with severe injuries, about five of Sulaimaan's relatives were rushed to Nanguneri Government hospital and Nanguneri's Sub-Inspector Sajeev visited the spot and done his job by inquiring three workers of the toll plaza and receiving the complaints from both sides.

People can be seen around the toll plaza during the violence


After the violence came to the spotlight, the members of the Social Democratic Party of India had staged protests in the toll plaza by condemning the violence and they urged the police to initiate stern and strong actions on the attackers who attacked women and stated that they will further continue their protests. When we inquired about the incident, the sources said that all the workers at the toll plazas have been disrespecting the people by abusing and belittling them. The sources cited that they have been backed by high ranking politicians through which they have no fear of attacking the people. These toll plazas at the four-lane highways are directly controlled by the Central Ministry and the Central Ministers and MPs have taken these plazas under their control. 

Nanguneri toll plaza in Tirunelveli district - File photo


These workers have been supported by these high ranking people who would come into picture whenever the toll plazas and its workers have problems against them. These high ranking people would directly reach out to the district level officials to ensure that no actions have been taken against the toll gates and they would also reach out to the police department to nullify the issues. Our sources have further stated that if any individual fights against the issue and the workers, they would brutally be attacked like how it happened in the Nanguneri toll gate. When we asked Sub-Inspector Sajeev, he said that both sides have given the complaints and an FIR has been filed.

Also read: Chengalpattu - The notorious toll gate!