Ludhiana: Protesting against the alleged failure of the Punjab government to check the deteriorating law and order situation in state, several Congressmen including MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, DCC president Gurpreet Bassi Gogi were detained by the police after two hours of scuffle outside Mini Secretariat on Friday.
The large numbers of Congressmen have gathered outside the office of Police Commissioner to handover bangles to Punjab Home Minister through Police Commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh, as a mark of the protest. Taking lessons from the earlier protests of Congress, the police have made foolproof security arrangements and sealed the entry points of Police Commissioner office and Mini Secretariat.
While trying to enter the office of Police Commissioner from the main entrance of Mini Secretariat the Congressmen were charged with water cannons and lathis by the cops. The struggle to enter the office of Police Commissioner continued for two hours in the scorching heat.
During the clash with police, Gogi and many others were injured. Later, the police detained the protesters and took them to police station Sarabha Nagar. Later, the protesters were released from police custody. Though the police had planned foolproof security arrangements which stopped Congressmen to enter the premises of Police Commissioner’s office but it had to face an embarrassing situation when Congressmen were standing at their places and water was empty in the vehicle.
When another water cannon was brought in to disperse the protestors, the agitated protestors pelted stones on the cannon vehicle. The cops mad mild use of cane charge and brought the situation under control. Around one hour after the scuffle, the cops detained MP Bittu and others and ferried them in a bus to police station but the protesters stopped the bus from oving. Again Ashu announced the move to enter the office of Police Commissioner and the scuffle started again.
Later, the police detained Bittu, Ashu and others and took them to Police Station Sarabha Nagar.
Speaking on the occasion, Bittu blamed the timid approach of the Punjab Government for the day by day deteriorating law and order situation in the state particularly in Ludhiana. He said that Punjab had come to such a pass that there was no fear of law among the anti-social elements. Those in jails were orchestrating the killings of their opponents in gang wars and they had the audacity to mock at the face of our police personnel by taking credit for the killings through Facebook and other social media sites, he said.
The daily interference of the government was not allowing the police to do its duty. “Today, our intelligence agencies are neither in a position to thwart any criminal conspiracy nor the police force is in a position to catch the culprits after the deadly attacks”, Bittu said.
Bittu threatened that the Congress party would resort to similar agitations in other parts of Punjab if the state government failed to perform and check the rising incidents of crime. CLP Leader Charanjit Singh Channi, MLAs Surinder Dawar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Malkiat Singh Dakha, Vice-President, PPCC, Krishan Kumar Bawa and Vikram Bajwa, both General Secretary, PPCC, Gurpreet Gogi, President, DCC, Ludhiana (Urban), Gurdev Singh Lapran, President, DCC, Ludhiana (Rural), Lakhvir Singh Lakha, President, DCC, Khanna, Youth Congress president Rajiv Raja were among those present.
The police seemed to have learnt the lessons from protests held in the past and made foolproof security arrangements which stopped the Congressmen to enter the premises of Police Commissioner. The water cannon vehicles and extra forces were also called from other districts to tackle with the situation.
During the two hours protest the traffic at Ludhiana- Ferozepur road was halted. The police have diverted the traffic but even then the commuters have to face tough time.
It was like undeclared “holiday” in Deputy Commissioner, Police Commissioner and other offices situated in Mini Secretariat due to security arrangements made by police. No person was allowed to enter the premises of Mini Secretariat.
The CLP leader Charanjit Channi and many others disappeared when the police used water cannons and lathi charge. Later, the leaders again turned back to get the photos clicked. Bittu questioned that when AAP leaders stage protests the government offers them air conditioned buses and other VIP facilities and when it comes to Congress protests the cops used water cannons and lathis.
ACP Special Branch Balwinder Singh was on the protest list of the crowd after a cop attached with ACP thrashed the protesters brutally.
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