Friday, June 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Cong workers rounded up
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

MUKTSAR, June 29 — Even as the district police has allegedly rounded up hundreds of Congress workers to stop them from holding a black flag demonstration in front of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, tomorrow when he is on a visit here, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP and senior vice-president of the PPCC, has urged the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Governor to intervene into the matter to stop state-sponsored “terrorism.”

On the other hand, hundreds of workers of the Congress belonging to Faridkot, Muktsar, Bathinda, Mansa, Ferozepore and Sangrur districts have gone underground to escape alleged police high-handedness.

Mr Brar while talking to TNS from Delhi said those arrested by the police in the wee hours today included former minister Gurnam Singh Abul Khurana, Mr Vicky Bhuller, Youth Congress President, Mr Nar Singh Chalana, senior Congress leader, and a number of sarpanches of villages falling in this district.

Mr Rupinder Singh Brar, senior Congress leader of Bathinda district, told TNS a number of Congress workers had left their houses following the police raids.

Mr Jagmeet Brar said workers would hold a black flag demonstration in protest against the large-scale bungling and beating up of Congress workers in the recently held municipal council elections at Baghapurana and Bariwala.

He added that Mr Badal deliberately stopped the development of Muktsar town to punish its residents as his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, polled less votes than him in the last parliamentary election from this area.

He pointed out that other issues on which the Congress workers had decided to lodge their protest included the unnecessary hike in the domestic and industrial power tariff, the increasing number of suicides by farmers and stopping of pension of the handicapped and windows.

Mr Brar said he had sent telegrams to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Governor to make arrangements so that Congress workers could hold a peaceful demonstration.

Mr Gurdas Girdhar, PPCC member, who was mobilising the Congress workers in Muktsar, said he along with Mr Gursant Singh Brar, a senior Congress leader, had left Muktsar and were now managing the show from a secret place. He added that black flag demonstration would be held at all cost.

The SSP when contacted said 35 Congress workers had been rounded up so far. He added that Mr Gurnam Singh Abul Khurana was not arrested.

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