In what could trigger more protests at Butter Kalan village in Moga, police on Thursday registered an FIR and charged 52 people with attempt to murder for the violence that left almost ten policemen seriously injured. The FIR also states that a further 80 to 90 people, yet to be identified, are responsible for the violence over the desecration of the Sikh holy book.
The villagers had been demanding the arrest of those responsible for the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib at Bargaari in Faridkot when their protest turned violent on Tuesday. The protesters pelted the police with stones and brick, forcing them to to resort to a lathicharge.
Moga SP (Investigation) H S Pannu and assistant sub-inspector Sukhmandar Singh were among the seriously injured. Almost 20 villagers were injured in the lathicharge and police vehicles were vandalised by the mob.
- Desecration cases in Punjab: Why was DGP Saini shifted out, asks probe panel
- Desecration of Guru Granth Sahib: Sikh bodies hold black flag protests across state, don’t block roads
- Book protests: Between lines, anger against govt
- More desecrations of holy book: Conspiracy to disrupt peace, says Punjab CM Badal
- Student, preachers, members of radical outfits among protesters
- 'Desecration of holy book’: Protests rock Punjab, Sec 144 in Faridkot
The villagers had on Tuesday claimed that they lifted their dharna after the violence as the police had assured them that no FIR would be registered against those who threw the stones. On Wednesday, however, Moga SSP Charanjit Singh told The Indian Express that there was no such compromise.
“We never compromised with the villagers. They pelted stones on us seriously injuring many policemen while also vandalising public property. An FIR has been registered against 52 accused and 80-90 other unidentified people who attacked the police party,” he added.
The FIR has been registered at the Badni Kalan police station on the statement of Gurpyar Singh, SHO. His statement says police had tried to convince the protesters to lift their dharna but in vain. He alleged that the protesters attacked the police party “with the intention to kill”.
Jaswinder Singh, sarpanch of Butter Kalan however said, “We got to know today that police has registered FIR against 150 villagers of our village. Police had given us assurance that FIR will not be registered against any villager as we only acted in self defence.”