Protesters clash with police in Chandigarh, 8 cops among 13 injured

Protesters clash with police in Chandigarh, Courtesy: Indian Express

At least 13 people, including eight police personnel, were injured when a clash broke out between the protesters supporting farmers’ Bharat Bandh and cops in Sector 34 Tuesday.

Police used lathicharge along with water cannons to disperse the agitated protesters near BJP office, Kamlam, in Sector 33. The protesters tried to attack the Sector 34 SHO, Inspector Baldev Kumar, with a sharp-edged weapon but Kumar’s gunman intervened and apprehended one of the protesters, who was carrying the weapon in his hands.

Read | Urban Punjab join farmers’ protests: ‘We don’t have farmland, but we do have a conscience’

The injured policemen included Inspector Baldev Kumar, Inspector Bhagwat Dayal, Sub-Inspector Rajinder Kumar and three women police personnel. Police said some members of Yuva Kisan Ekta started throwing stones on cops. The assailants were yet to be identified.

The protesters from various Sikh bodies and farmer unions gathered outside Sector 34 historical gurdwara and started marching towards Kamlam in Sector 33. The protest outside Sector 34 gurdwara was organised by Yuva Kisan Ekta. Around 550 members of the Yuva Kisan Ekta took part in the protest.

As water cannons were used, a few protesters managed to stop the water supply. Other protesters riding in an open jeep were prevented from entering the BJP office. Additional police force was called to control the situation. SSP (UT) Kuldeep Singh Chahal, ASP (south) Shruti Arora rushed to the spot. Police registered a case against unknown protestors for rioting, obstructing public servants, damaging government property.

Highway jammed

The main road near Dakshin Marg was blocked for around three hours by Congress leaders and supporters near Hallomajra Light Point. Congress leader Pardeep Chhabra led hundreds of protesters and blocked the highway for at least three hours. The traffic was diverted. However, emergency vehicles were allowed to pass. The protesters raised anti-government slogans. Chhabra said, “Even family members of BJP workers supported the Bharat Bandh call. Later, Congress leaders, including Chhabra, councillor Satish Kainth, Jagjeet Kang and Jatinder Bhatia, were detained. They were taken to Sector 39 police station. After completing formalities, they were all released.

PU gate blocked

Members of various student wings supported the bandh call. The student unions blocked the entry/exit point, gate number-2, not allowing any PU faculty members to enter the university. They were forced to enter the PU from gate number-3. The gate number-1 is already temporarily closed in view of COVID-19. The gate number-2 was only opened when senior faculty members of PU along with local cops rushed to the spot.
Shops closed

A majority of shops were closed in sectors 27 and 28. The area councillor, Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla, said that shopkeepers of his ward had expressed solidarity with the farmers and except one had closed all the shops during the Bandh.

Other bodies lend support

Advocates in Punjab and Haryana High Court sat on dharna in support of the protesting farmers. The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh expressed solidarity with the farmers. The president of the association, Arvinder Pal Singh, said that the hospitality industry works in close coordination with farmers and can understand their concerns. The chairman of the association, Man Mohan Singh Kohli, said that their industry has suffered at the hands of corporate aggregators such as OYO and ZOMATO and the likes. Therefore, they can understand what’s in store for the farmers.

Source: Indian Express