September 11, 2021 9:36:15 pm
Congress and BJP workers pelted stones at each others and entered into a clash outside the saffron party office at Clock Tower area in Ludhiana Saturday leaving at least 14 people from both sides injured, with at least two claiming to have been admitted to hospital with eye injury. The BJP said 10 of their workers were injured while Congress claimed injuries to four of its cadres.
A blame game too ensued with both parties accusing each other of starting stone pelting.
Ludhiana Congress youth wing president Yogesh Handa said the party workers had reached outside the BJP’s Clock Tower office to protest against rising inflation and fuel prices. “To our surprise, we found BJP workers were ready with bricks which they threw from the first floor of their office building in which four of our workers got injured. The injured include Sahil Bassi who is admitted at CMCH with eye injury. The others were treated at civil hospital,” Handa said.
The Congress leader said that they had given call for Saturday’s dharna on Friday “we started getting messages soon after that we will be welcomed with stones”.
The Congress has filed a complaint with the police. “Everyone has the right to protest. Our protest was in support of farmers and against the rising inflation. It was a peaceful protest but BJP people made it violent,” he alleged.
However, district BJP president Pushpinder Singal claimed that the protesters were goons and drunkards hired by the Congress. “On Thursday, we had protested against the auction of 16,340 square yard land by Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for Rs 96 crore even thought its market value is over Rs 350 crore. Following our protest that auction was cancelled Friday. Congress had no agenda to protest on Saturday but they came (to our office) in retaliation. Most of them were not even Congress workers but they were hired goons who were drunk and were carrying stones with them, which they started pelting on our workers. Ten our workers got injured and one of them, Naveen Saini, is in DMCH with eye injury. We are giving a detailed complaint for necessary action”.
Handa, however, claimed that BJP workers threw tomatoes, and stones at them and even hurled abuses. ACPs Dharampal and Harsimrat Singh, and SHO Madhu Bala were present at the spot along with huge police force. As the situation started getting out of control, police used mild force.
Late in the evening, state BJP president Ashwani Sharma visited Ludhiana to inquire about the health of injured workers. He also went to DMCH to meet Naveen Saini. Sharma said, “BJP will not get scared by these acts. We will seek action against this goondaism”.
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