L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Widespread condemnation of police atrocity
* Various organisations show solidarity with protesting students
* CM asks DC to submit report
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, September 22
The police high-handedness against peaceful students on the Punjab Agricultural University campus during the visit of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday has evoked widespread condemnation from various organisations.

Students at Punjab Agricultural University today burnt an effigy of the government in protest against the excesses.

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of news reports regarding the alleged high-handedness of the police in controlling the agitating veterinary students at Kisan Mela yesterday, Amarinder Singh today directed Deputy Commissioner Ashok Gupta to look into the matter and submit a report within a week.

An official spokesperson, while expressing sympathy with the students, today said the Chief Minister had reiterated that the entire selection process for the recruitment of 482 veterinary doctors would be completed within a week.

He said he had already acceded to their demand when the deputation of students met him yesterday, and had directed Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry, D.S. Bains on the spot to complete the recruitment process without any further delay.

Amarinder Singh also urged students to shun the path of agitation, as he was open to dialogue with them.

Various social and political organisations came to the support of the students and demanded strict action against the policemen who manhandled women protesters.

Some organisations also staged demonstrations against the incident today.

Member of Parliament Sharanjit Singh Dhillon went to the university campus and met with protesting unemployed veterinary doctors and other students.

He expressed sympathy with the students and condemned the unprovoked police action against them.

He demanded an inquiry into the incident where girls were humiliated.

In a separate statement, senior BJP leader and former Member Parliament Lala Lajpat Rai said they were shocked at the police action against peaceful students.

He observed that students should have been allowed to meet the Chief Minister to make their point. He said the police action was uncalled for.

Tense atmosphere prevailed on the campus today after the yesterday’s incidents. Though students expressed anger at the incident, they said they did not want to resort to any action that could disturb the mela.

However, they said they would ensure that the guilty policemen were brought to the book.

The students gathered early in the morning to express their solidarity with the victims of yesterday’s incident.

They also criticised the registration of an FIR against students. They said the FIR should have rather been registered against the guilty policemen.

DORAHA: The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union have condemned police attack on women protesters, who had gathered to press their demands during the Chief Minister’s visit to the city yesterday.

Area secretary, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Kuldeep Singh; women wing, Panjab University, convener Parkash Verma and PCCTU former president R.S. Brar expressed shock at the incident. The women protesters were manhandled by police personnel, most of them men.

They condemned the incident and termed it “shameful and inhuman” on part of the police.

They said it was a mockery of the democratic setup, which necessitated stern action against the erring officials.

Dr Kuldeep Singh said this would only deter people from raising their voice in a peaceful manner.

“If the voice of the people was going to be stifled in such a way, it would be very hard for people to find justice. The attack followed by physical lifting and throwing into police vehicles of women protesters only reflected the state of affairs in the police setup.”

They demanded action against the erring officials and a judicial probe into the case.

Youth forum chief headed by Jandeep Kaushal also condemned the incident and demanded immediate action against the erring officials.



BYJM activist abuses DCC chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
A major clash was averted in the Kitchlu Nagar area today after District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban), president Jagmohan Sharma was allegedly abused, threatened and humiliated by Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party — district secretary Sandeep Kapoor.

Several Congress activists reached Kitchlu Nagar after learning that Mr Sharma had allegedly been threatened and abused by Mr Kapoor.

Senior BJP leaders also reached the spot. Mr Kapoor was reportedly detained by the police for some time. Mr Sharma told Ludhiana Tribune that he had gone to the Kitchlu Nagar area to sort out some issue pertaining to the installation of a gate.

He said some officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had come to remove the gates, which the local residents resisted. He said he was approached by some local residents.

He said while the corporation officials lent him a patient hearing, Sandeep Kapoor emerged from the crowd and started abusing and shouting at him. “He even threatened me in full public view,” Mr Sharma alleged.

However, the DCC president was appreciative of senior BJP leaders, including Satpal Gosain, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, Dr Subash Verma and others, for their courteous attitude.

He regretted that Sandeep Kapoor, whom he did not know, had abused and threatened him for no reason.

Mr Sharma has lodged a complaint with the Kitchlu Nagar police post, demanding registration of a criminal case against Sandeep Kapoor.

He said he personally went to the police post to seek the registration of an FIR.

However, the police did not confirm whether it had registered the FIR or not.



PRTC staff, unions hold rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Employees of the Punjab Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) held a gate rally outside the PRTC workshop in support of their demands here today.
“Overtime payment has been pending since February 2005 and even as various unions have been raising the issue, nothing has been done so far,” said Mr Sukhdev Singh from the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).

Members of various unions present on the occasion alleged that several private buses were plying without legal permits. Condemning the “illegal operation” of private buses, they said not only was it affecting the revenue of the roadways but also of the government. However, no concrete measures were being taken to prevent it, they added. “Only yesterday a special team was sent to Sherpur Chowk to check the illegal plying of private buses. But the police, instead of private operators, lodged a complaint against the PRTC,” the union representatives said.

The unions threatened to intensify their struggle if steps were not taken to stop the “illegal” plying of private buses and fulfil their demands.

Among others who addressed the rally were Mr Bachhittar Singh from the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Mr Balwant Singh.



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