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Monday, July 26, 2021

Day after Rajpura incident: Now, BJP leaders ‘held hostage’ in Bathinda DC office, scale wall to leave

The BJP alleged that some of its members were again “held hostage” in Bathinda, while farm protesters accused the BJP of using “foul language” against them, and warned they will gherao BJP leaders “wherever they go”.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
July 13, 2021 8:50:30 am
BJP workers take out a rally against attacks on thier leaders, in Ludhaina on Monday. Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh

A day after several BJP leaders were allegedly “manhandled” and confined to a house by protesting farmers in Patiala district’s Rajpura, the latter held fervent demonstrations across the state as party leaders submitted memorandums of protest to DCs on Monday. The BJP alleged that some of its members were again “held hostage” in Bathinda, while farm protesters accused the BJP of using “foul language” against them, and warned they will gherao BJP leaders “wherever they go”.

In Bathinda, a delegation of around 50 people from BJP went to lodge a protest against the Rajpura incident. However, they were “held hostage” inside the DC’s office till 4 pm as members of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ugrahan had blocked all entry gates of DC office. Vinod Kumar Binta, president of BJP’s Bathinda unit, said, “We came to the DC office at 9 am. We only managed to get out by 4 pm, one by one, using a ladder kept towards the SSP residence. We also have the right to lodge our protest as they do. They held our leaders hostage and now they are not even allowing us to submit a memorandum for the same. This is not justified. We too want this issue to be resolved soon.”

SSP Bhupinderjit Virk however said, “They came to give a memorandum and they trickled out one by one by afternoon. Yes, most of them went out by climbing the walls or by ladders.” Asked why farmers were not lifting their dharna when BJP leaders had moved out, Virk said, “Perhaps union members are unaware. We are trying to convince them to lift their dharna.”

BKU Ugrahan’s Jagseer Singh Jhumba said, “They came to protest against us. They are calling farmers goonda elements and hence we came to gherao them. They are not allowing us to enter Delhi and hence we will not allow them to go for their political activities, we will gherao them wherever they will go.”

In Barnala, farmers under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) did a protest march from Barnala to Dhanaula — the native village of BJP leader Harjeet Singh Grewal. Farmer leader Karnail Singh Gandhi said, “We did a motorcycle march from Barnala to Dhanaula to protest against Grewal. We have warned him not to use foul language against farmers. He belongs to Punjab and hence should support the farmers as he himself is first a farmer and later a politician.”

In Ferozepur, sources said that BKU Dakaunda had planned to protest against BJP leaders. However, no BJP leader went to the DC office to submit a memorandum, hence no protests took place.

In Fazilka, BJP leader Surjit Kumar Jyani was to come to the DC office to submit a memorandum, but didn’t turn up. Har Ram Mohammad, district president of BKU Dakaunda, Fazilka, said, “We lodged our protest near the DC office. Heavy police force had been deployed. Police even used force on farmers, two of whom sustained minor injuries.”

In Mansa again, no protest happened as no BJP leader turned up at the DC office. In Ludhiana however, BJP leaders under the leadership of Pushpinder Singal protested outside the police commissioner’s office.

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