Mixed response in Malwa districts

Tribune News Service
Sangrur, August 13

Tension gripped the border town of Khanauri today after a group led by Dalit leaders and another by local shopkeepers started protests demanding action against each other. The police have started an investigation.

As per information, to get the markets closed against the demolition of a temple in Delhi, some Dalit leaders allegedly had heated arguments with a local shopkeeper. Both sides pushed each other, causing damage to some material of a shop. After getting information, local shopkeepers started a protest at the main road in the city and demanded action against the Dalit leaders while the latter had already been sitting on a protest.

“We are not against any community, but the police must register an FIR against all those who have damaged a shop to terrorise other shopkeepers. If the police fail to register a case, we will intensify our agitation,” said Surinder Kumar, a local shopkeeper.

Sangrur SSP Sandeep Garg sent senior police officers to Khanauri to resolve the issue and after meetings, both sides relented and ended their protests.

“The problem started after the shopkeeper refused to close his shop. The issue has been resolved and both sides have lifted their protests. The SHO concerned is conducting an investigation. We will take action as per law,” he said.

No violence in Ludhiana

Ludhiana city observed a complete bandh as all commercial establishments, malls, markets, schools and colleges remained closed throughout the day on Tuesday. The bandh was by and large peaceful as no incident of clash or violence was reported.

Various organisations of the Ravidas community had blocked the city’s entry and exit points in the morning. They sat on dharna on the Jalandhar bypass, Samrala Chowk, Gill Chowk, Dhandari Kalan, Ferozepur road, Sherpur Chowk, Metro Chowk, Ladhowal and Jodhewal Chowk.

Commuters were inconvenienced as they got stuck on roads for hours. People wanting to go to Chandigarh, Khanna, Jalandhar and Delhi could not leave the city as all exit points were closed.

Although no violence was reported, at some places protesters indulged in heated arguments with commuters. One of the commuters was slapped by protesters at Bharat Nagar Chowk when he was trying to cross the road. He, however, did not file any complaint.

Police Commissioner Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill although the bandh was peaceful, police force would remain on road to prevent any untoward incident.

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