Expressing solidarity with the protest against the night traffic ban on the national highway through a tiger reserve, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Wayanad and joined with the protesters on Friday.
"I stand in solidarity with the youth on an indefinite hunger strike since September 25 protesting against the daily 9-hour traffic ban on NH-766," the former Congress president had said in a tweet.
"I urge the central and state governments to safeguard the interests of local communities while upholding our collective responsibility to protect our environment," Rahul Gandhi had tweeted.
Rahul Gandhi had also met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier this month to discuss the night traffic ban on National Highway-766. Following Rahul Gandhi's support, Wayanad intensified the protest with locals taking out a march demanding the lifting of the night traffic ban.
Wayanad has been witnessing protests over the long dispute on over whether to allow night travel through the Bandipur tiger reserve. While Kerala state government wants to remove a travel ban on National Highway 766, which cuts through the forest area, between 9pm and 6am, Karnataka Government stands with the ban.
Around 1,000 farmers and local people had participated in the march from Sultan Bathery to the Kerala-Karnataka border at Moolahalli demanding round the clock connectivity through the forest stretch of NH-766.