It was a special (read risky) ride today from my home in Kerala to my flat in Bangalore (Approx 700 km). We (me, wife and son) started from home in Kerala at 6:30 AM in a KL (Kerala) Registered Car and we were joined by my co-brother who was driving a KA (Karnataka) registered Car. We reached our flats in Bangalore by around 9:30 pm without any issues.
We decided to ride together. When we reached Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, we came to know that there are tensions due to the ongoing issues between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and we may face issues at Attibele Checkpost, which is the border between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Parents asked us to stop the trip and return, but we decided to proceed.
We took the Punalur-Chenkotta-Thenkasi-Rajapalayam-Madurai-Salem-Hosur Route. We hit the NH 44 Expressway at Kappalur (Near Thirumangalam, Madurai).
We had travelled through Rural Tamil Nadu without any police or security or escort from Kerala Border in Aryan Kavu till Kappalur near Madurai, which is around 170 Kms.
When we reached Kappalur Toll Gate, we saw that Tamil Nadu Police was stopping some vehicles. My Co-brother’s car was stopped. I was told that I can go as my car was KL (Kerala) registered. Tamil Nadu Police said that there are orders to give escort to all KA registered Vehicles.
So, Police escort was given to my co-brother’s KA (Karnataka) registered car. In effect, the Police escort became a pain due to the delays caused. We had to wait till a convoy of 10-20 KA registered vehicles were formed. Then we should wait for the Sub-Inspector to join. Then the convoy would start.
Like I said, the escort was only for KA registered vehicles. There were no restrictions for KL or any other state registered vehicles. There would be a police vehicle in front and back of the convoy. They would be riding only at 40-50 kmph in the expressway.
All other vehicles were riding 100-120 kmph and the convoy would take its own sweet time! The escort is from one tollbooth to the next one. In the next one, a new police party will take care of the escort. Many vehicles, broke the convoy and escaped because of the delay. It was slow and painful but was well facilitated. It reinstated the faith in “Rule of Law”!
We drove around 600 km inside Tamil Nadu and didn’t notice any issues anywhere. If you ask then why the escort was given to all KA registered cars, probably police were acting under the direction of some political bosses, who wanted to send some messages across the border!
The police were interacting with those who were riding the KA vehicles and were taking their details. Somewhere even discussing the KPN buses torching incident!
At Attibele (Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border), vehicles were being filtered and Tamil Nadu police were not allowing any Tamil Nadu registered vehicles enter Karnataka to prevent any untoward incidents. All buses were being stopped there.
People were seen carrying baggage and walking across the border to get into buses on the other side of the border. Felt like as if I was in the Wagah Border!
Saw some funny stuff en route. People were riding without number plates and some smart fellows put a black sticker on the letter A in the KA and made the A look like L so that it looks like KL.
A week on, it is business as usual in Bengaluru, and last Monday’s protests will soon be forgotten. Only, what happened that day could happen again—in the city and across any city in India.