Five days after Congress and Akali supporters clashed after the latter allegedly tried to capture a polling booth at Mann in Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badals constituency Lambi,the village wears a deserted look.
The clash,which took place on May 19,the day rural Punjab went to polls,had left four injured. Six vehicles were also set on fire even as the police resorted to lathicharge and firing in air to disperse the mob. Following this,138 villagers were booked for attempt to murder and other charges. Among them,the police have named 25 people in the FIR and arrested five.
Now,with most families fleeing Mann,most houses in the village are locked. Heavy police force,along with including anti-riot cell personnel and black commandos,have been deployed in the village and at the primary school where the violence had taken place on May 19. Section 144 has also been implemented in the village.
They have been coming and going since the day of the violence,but all of a sudden,they are now coming in large numbers, said Balwant Singh,who had a house in front of the school.
When asked about the May 19 violence,most villagers refuse to discuss the issue. We do not know anything,we left early after polling. We have no idea who burnt the vehicles and who went to capture the booth, said an elderly villager on condition of anonymity.
However,a teenager,Yudraj Singh,added: A few persons had come inside the booth while polling was on. Later,villagers burnt their vehicles.
The police have made a video of the violence. No one knows who can be seen in the footage,as a number of villagers had joined the protest. Thus,no one wants say anything about the violence, said another villager.
When contacted,DIG A S Chahal said: Police force has been deployed just as a precautionary measure at the village. We have already arrested five persons and are on the lookout for the rest.
Meanwhile,PPP president Manpreet Singh Badal called off his visit to the village after announcing the same in a rally in Bathinda. Most villagers have left home. The ones I will meet will be victim of police investigation. So,I have decided to meet them after a few days, he said.