MORE THAN 70 residents of half-a-dozen villages, including Badal, Kumbra and Patton, held a protest against Mohali police right outside the office of Mohali SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal on Wednesday. The protest began around 11.30 am and lasted till 1.30 pm. The agitated villagers accused the Mohali district police of not investigating various cases, including rape, murder, robbery, which were reported in their areas and pending at police stations for a long time.
The reason for the protest was “the inability and lack of effort of the Punjab police to provide justice to Dalit families for crimes being committed against them” in the words of Balwinder Singh Kumbra, the sarpanch of Kumbra village.
He further said, “We have been seeking justice for various crimes like rape of minor girls, violence and fraud in our villages for years. No one has helped us so far and the culprits keep roaming freely. We have begged the police to take action but our pleas have always fallen on deaf ears because we do not have money to bribe them. We now want the SSP to hear about every case that has ever been registered by our community at various police stations which is still pending and give us the justice we deserve.”
The protesters had an application addressed to the Mohali SSP as well as DGP Punjab which conveyed their problems and had a list of their many pending cases.
SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal said, “I will look into the complaints lodged by the Panchayat Union and Democratic Swaraj Party. Strict action will definitely be taken against the police personnel found negligent.”
Protesters shouted slogans against Punjab Police, too. After two hours of protest, SP (Sec & Traffic) Tarun Ratan stepped out of office to meet the demonstrators. After listening to what they had to say, he said, “I have heard everything and I’ll discuss the matter with the SSP soon” and left. The protesters dispersed soon after.