CONGRESS LEGISLATORS and workers called off their sit-in dharna outside Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s Chandigarh residence after the government accepted their demand of transferring Ludhiana ADCP-4 Jaswinder Singh late in the evening on Saturday.
WATCH VIDEO: Punjab Congress Party Members Burn Badals Effigy
They protest, that stretched to three days, was against registration of cases against Congress leaders in the ‘Chhitta Raavan’ case. Punjab DGP Suresh Arora Saturday met a delegation of Congress leaders,including party legislators Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Surinder Dawer and general secretary and PPCC in-charge Capt Sandeep Singh Sandhu.
The members of the delegation claimed the DGP had agreed to transfer Jaswinder Singh and that he had also assured them that he would visit Ludhiana in the next few days to re-investigate the FIR lodged under Section 307 (attempt to murder) against Congress leaders in the clash over Chitta Raavan in Ludhiana in Dussehra.
The ADCP had been transferred and asked to report at Punjab state police headquarters, Chandigarh, till further orders, said a spokesperson of the CMO.
The party made it clear there was no change in the planned protest involving the burning of ‘Chitta Raavan’. Also, party workers in all the 117 Assembly segments will burn similar effigies on Monday, AICC Secretary Harish Choudhary told party workers before calling off the dharna.
Choudhary said the government was forced to defuse the situation after Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh’s announcement in Ludhiana earlier Sunday that he would burn an effigy of Chitta Raavan during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ludhiana on October 18, at the same place where the clash took place.
The Congress would show no let-up in its campaign against the drugs menace in the state, Choudhary added. The protest, which began Thursday morning, was led by CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and Ludhiana MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who refused to budge even at night and stayed put in front of the CM’s gate for two nights, along with others.
After calling off the dharna, Channi called it a victory of the Congress and a peaceful protest launched by them for justice. The Congress leaders had refused to accept Badal’s offers – to order an inquiry by DGP into the case and later sending the ADCP on leave for two days pending an inquiry. The legislators however said they would continue to protest till the ADCP was shifted, alleging he had played a “partisan role in the clash.”
Several leaders had extended support to the party colleagues at the dharna site. Among the first to reach the dharna site and express support for the party workers this morning was Ambika Soni, AICC general secretary and chairperson of Punjab Congress Campaign Committee. Congress in-charge, Punjab affairs, Asha Kumari; AICC secretary Harish Choudhary; and former Punjab CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal also met the protesters.
The visit by Soni and other senior leaders came a day after Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh called on the agitating party workers and vowed to take the anti-Akali battle to its logical conclusion. Addressing the protestors, Captain Amarinder had on Friday announced that effigies of Chitta Ravana would be burnt in all the 117 Assembly constituencies of the state as symbols of the evil regime of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Extending their full support to the party MLAs and workers on dharna outside the gate of the CM residence, Soni and other Congress leaders Saturday said they would not allow the “Akali gunda raj” to continue in the state.
Among those who took part in the dharna Saturday were CLP chief Charanjit Singh Channi, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and Congress MLAs Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Surinder Dawar, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Rana Gurjit Singh, Randip Nabha, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Rakesh Pandey.