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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Punjab The Latest as it comes

Lathicharge in Ambala Cops, protesters hurt


Tribune News Service
Ambala, May 22

Tension gripped Ambala today following a clash between Akali activists and the police near Badshahi Bagh Gurdwara and Manji Sahib Gurdwara in Ambala City.
The situation continued to be tense throughout the day in Ambala City. Stone-pelting near Badshahi Bagh Gurdwara left four police personnel, including Superintendent of Police Amitabh Dhillon, injured. The police had to resort to lathicharge to control the activists.
The activists gathered at Badshahi Bagh Gurdwara to take out a protest march over the dera issue. They were planning to hand over a memorandum to deputy commissioner R.P. Bharadwaj.
Since Section 144 has already been imposed in Ambala, they were advised against taking out the march. Even the DC came to the gurdwara so that the memorandum could be handed over to him.
Suddenly, stone-pelting took place on the police personnel, who were standing outside the gurdwara. A stone hit on the face of SP Amitabh Dhillon.
Thereafter, the Akali activists tried to cross over barricades set up. They wanted to go to the main road. It forced the police to undertake lathicharge in which two persons were injured.
After the lathicharge, the crowd near the gurdwara dispersed. But the situation continued to be tense as Sikhs began to assemble at Manji Sahib Gurdwara in Ambala City.
In the afternoon, a number of Sikh youths arrived at the gurdwara. Akali leaders like Sant Singh Kandhari, Sukhdev Singh Gobindgarh and SGPC member from Ambala Gurdev Singh Bhanokheri were also present.
The group of youths attempted to force their way through the police contingent. The police chased the youths, who entered the gurdwara.
It was then that the police personnel were attacked by stones and bricks which were thrown from the verandah of the gurdwara.
In retaliation, the police personnel threw back the bricks. During the stone-pelting, two police personnel, including Assistant Sub-Inspector Mewa Ram, were seriously injured.
The Sikh youths alleged that the police personnel had hurt the "maryada'' of the gurdwara by pelting stones.
Later, the SP, along with SDM Mukesh Ahuja, held a meeting with the Akali leaders. The SP sought the assistance of the leaders to identify those anti-social elements, who started stone-pelting.
Inspector-general of police, Ambala range, S.S. Deswal said the situation was under control. He said the police had shown restraint in dealing with the situation.

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