Punjab Congress leaders on Thursday launched a sit-in dharna outside Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s official residence in Chandigarh to protest against the high-handedness and partisan role of Punjab Police in a recent Congress-Shiromani Akali Dal clash. The protestors demanded that Ludhiana Police Commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jaswinder Singh be suspended for "acting as Akali Dal agents" during the clash at a Dussera celebration on Monday, reported the Times of India. Families of war martyrs and deceased Home Guard personnel joined the protest on Friday.
The clash broke out after Akali Dal workers allegedly barged into the Dussera celebrations organised by the Congress. The Congress members tried to highlight the state government’s failure to curb the drug menace in the state by burning an effigy of a ‘chitta’ (local term for drugs) Ravana. A few Congress leaders, including Ludhiana urban unit president Gurpreet Gogi, were injured in the clash and cars were mangled, according to IANS. Later, six Congress leaders were arrested.
Badal said he has asked the director-general of police to personally investigate the incident and “submit a report within three days.” State Congress spokesperson Sunil Jakhar, however, dubbed the investigation as an eye-wash, and said such probes never yields any results.
Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Charanjit Singh Channi, MLA Tarlochan Singh Soondh, who allegedly threw a shoe at Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, and other leaders like Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Kuljit Nagra, Parminder Pinki and Surinder Dawar also joined the protest.