Li visit to affect traffic today, four Metro stations closed

BBreaching security checks, a Tibetan protester made his way to the Chinese Embassy and doused himself with kerosene on Sunday. Police detained him before he could immolate himself. Ravi Kanojia

The Tibetan-dominated area of Majnu Ka Tila was put under police lockdown on Sunday to avoid any disruption to the movement of visiting Chinese premier Li Keqiang.

Residents said many Tibetan activists were put under house arrest, while many were on the run to evade arrest. The Delhi Police also withdrew its approval granted to Tibetan activists for staging a peaceful protest on Monday at Jantar Mantar. The approval was given on Friday and withdrawn the next day.

"An initial approval for a request for public protest at Jantar Mantar by Tibetan NGOs — Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Delhi, Regional Tibetan Women's Association of Delhi and Students for a Free Tibet — was rejected by the Delhi Police," Dorjee Tseten, national director of Students for a Free Tibet-India, said.

As a precautionary measure, police also ordered the closure of Race Course Metro station between 7 pm and 9 pm on Sunday. Premier Li was scheduled to attend a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday.

Four Metro stations will remain closed on Monday, and traffic restrictions announced today will remain in place till Tuesday.

"According to the advisory from Delhi Police, Race Course, Udyog Bhawan, Central Secretariat and Khan Market Metro stations will remain closed from 8 am to 10 am on May 20. At Central Secretariat station, interchange will be available," a DMRC spokesperson said.

Traffic police have closed Sardar Patel Marg — from Panchsheel Marg to Dhaula Kuan — till Tuesday afternoon. Commuters are also advised to avoid C-Hexagon, Ring Road and Mathura Road between 8.30 am and 10.30 pm on Monday.

"C-Hexagon shall be affected from 10 am to 3 pm," a police spokesperson said.

Ring Road and Vandematram Marg will remain open for traffic. Also open are: Aurobindo Marg, Lodhi Road, Mathura Road, Purana Qila Road, Ashok Road, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Park Street, roundabout on Shankar Road, Upper Ridge Road till Dhaula Kuan.

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