Nearly two dozen BJP and ABVP activists were injured, five of them seriously, after Youth Congress workers, protesting land acquisition ordinance, allegedly attacked the local BJP office Thursday in presence of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya Singh.
The police later resorted to lathicharge to bring situation under control as BJP workers retaliated in equal measure. BJP alleged that Youth Congress workers carrying iron rods, batons, stones and bricks attacked the party office while protesting outside it.
Three FIRs have been lodged — one by BJP’s secretary Trilok Jamwal accusing Youth Congress workers of attacking the party office, another by the rival activists blaming BJP activists for the clash and a third by the police as two policemen too suffered injuries in the incident, Superintendent of Police D W Negi said.
Negi said had the police not intervened in time, “things would have been turned out to be very bad”. The clash between Youth Congress and BJP-ABVP activists continued for over an hour.
State BJP spokesperson Ganesh Dutt, however, said he had alerted police apprehending an unprovoked attack by the Youth Congress workers, but the policemen deployed there did not act in time.
Those injured in the clash included BJYM’s state unit president Sunil Thakur, BJP youth wing vice-president Karan Nanda and BJP district vice-president Rajesh Sharda.
Vikramaditya Singh later told reporters the Youth Congress workers were peacefully protesting the land ordinance, but the BJP activists provoked them by pelting stones. He also alleged that a few BJP workers attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and that some protestors were too injured in the clashes.