The action committee against the toll gate at Surathkal here began its indefinite day-and-night dharna on Friday demanding the immediate removal of the plaza.
The protesters shouted slogans against the BJP government and people’s representatives belonging to the ruling party, including Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel.
Addressing the protesters, action committee convenor Muneer Katipalla said BJP state chief and Lok Sabha member Kateel’s assurance two weeks back that the plaza will be closed within 20 days cannot be trusted as he had made similar promises earlier also.
He said Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Kumara had held a meeting on Thursday which showed their concern over the delay in a decision by the authorities. The BJP MLAs from the region have not done anything to pressure the government to resolve the issue, he said.
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Former ministers B Ramanath Rai, Abhayachandra Jain, legal advisor Dinesh Ulepadi, former MLAs Mohiuddin Bava, Vinay Kumar Sorake, action committee leader M G Hegde and KPCC coordinator Prathibha Kulai are among those participating in the protest.
A strong police force has been deployed at the spot including personnel from the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP). Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped within 200 metre-radius around the toll gate from 6 am today till 6 pm on November 3.
People have been protesting against the toll plaza for the last several months against ‘illegal’ toll collection from the gate as it was functioning in violation of National Highway rules.