Updated: July 18, 2021 2:05:35 am
FARMER PROTESTERS attacked and vandalised the vehicles of senior BJP leader Sanjay Tandon and Chandigarh Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma, who is also a BJP councillor, in Sector 48 Saturday, in the presence of police personnel. It is for the first time when leaders of the BJP unit of Chandigarh were attacked during the ongoing farmers’ stir against the three Central agriculture laws.
Tandon, former chief of Chandigarh’s BJP unit, is now co-incharge of the Himachal BJP unit. He criticised the Chandigarh Police for inadequate arrangements despite informing the police in advance about the farmers’ protest Friday night. The BJP leaders along with other volunteers had come to the Motor Market in Sector 48 for attending a thanks-giving function organised by the market association and local party leaders. The protesters started gathering in Sector 48 at 9 am.
Hundreds of protesters and farm supporters started gathering in large numbers around Sector 31 police station minutes after around two dozen protesters, including two women, were rounded up by the local police. Farmer leader Sukhdev Chaduni, in a video message shared widely on social media, urged the farmer leaders, supporters of Panchkula, Mohali, Ambala and other neighbouring areas of Chandigarh to rush to Sector 31, where the protesters were detained.
Later, an FIR under various offences, including rioting, damaging the public property, violating the COVID-19 guidelines was registered at Sector 49 police station. All 22 detained people, including two women, were arrested and later released on bail. Those arrested included Navdeep Singh of Ambala, who had hit the headlines in Delhi on Republic Day for capturing a water cannon of the police department.
Tandon told The Indian Express, “I was in my Range Rover. All of a sudden, protesters came before my vehicle. Some of them hit my vehicle with a heavy object, which could be an iron rod. My Range Rover’s rear side windscreen was broken. Front windscreen was also damaged. Protesters tried to unlock my car but they failed. They were all outsiders, who attacked us in a pre-planned strategy. It all happened in the presence of local police personnel. The protesters also damaged the official vehicle of Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma. His driver suffered minor injuries as pieces of smashed windscreen of his car hit him. We urged Chandigarh Police to take strict action against them. So far, cops have not asked me to lodge any formal complaint. I had a word with Home Minister Amit Shah and UT Administartor V P Singh Badnore about the incident.”
Sources said as the protesters became violent, cops advised the BJP leaders and workers to leave the venue.
Later, scores of BJP leaders, including Tandon, along with volunteers gathered at Sector 34 police station. SSP (UT) Kuldeep Chahal interacted with them at the police station.
SSP talks tough
SSP (UT) Kuldeep Chahal reportedly talked tough with the supporters of detained farmers, as they gathered outside PS 31, on Saturday. Chahal argued with the supporters claiming he himself has done farming, adding that the protestors do not know the size of an acre of agriculture land. He also warned them to not interfere in police functioning.
The police also used force to disperse the protesters, who shifted from outside PS 31 to sit at dharna near Japani Garden, which is at some distance from the police station.
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