Mohali, March 21
Traffic was restored at the Sohana chowk as the four-day deadlock between the police and sympathisers of pro-Khalistan activist Amritpal Singh ended with forceful removal of protesters and uprooting of their tent by the administration here this afternoon.
The police arrested around 30 protesters, including women, staging a sit-in on the road near Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan since Saturday afternoon. The protesters resisted the move but the anti-riot police whisked them away in private school buses and police vehicles.
Sticks, swords and sharp weapons were recovered from the scene, the police said. Panic gripped the area for a while after several youths, including women, tried to flee as the police started removing the protesters. Earlier, a couple of police officials received minor injuries as the protesters resisted the removal of tent pitched in the middle of the road.
SP City Akashdeep Singh Aulakh said: “Protesters had been causing inconvenience to road users and visitors to the gurdwara for the past four days. When gurdwara officials and panchayat members of nearby villages tried to talk to them, an altercation broke out, prompting the police to move in. Minimal force was used to remove the protesters. There was a minor altercation between the protesters and gurdwara officials after the talks failed, so to maintain law and order the protesters were taken away.” Action will be taken against the protesters as per law, he added.
After the protesters were removed, the police put up barricades in the middle of the road to thwart any attempt of takeover of the site. The movement of vehicles was restored from both sides around 1 pm.
Altercation with gurdwara officials
- Gurdwara officials and panchayat members try to convince protesters to leave, but altercation breaks out, prompting cops to move in, say police officials
- Protesters resist the move, but anti-riot police use minimal force and whisk them away in private school buses and police vehicles; tent is also removed
- Sticks, swords and sharp weapons are recovered from the scene. Many youths, including women, try to flee the scene as police move in to remove them
YPS chowk stir still on
The Qaumi Insaaf Morcha has been protesting at the YPS Chowk in Mohali since January 7 demanding the release of ‘Bandi Singhs’. After violence erupted at the UT-Mohali border on February 8, the road separating Sectors 51-52 was closed to traffic. On March 10, NGO Arrive Safe Society of Chandigarh moved the HC seeking removal of encroachment by protesters. The matter will come up for hearing on Wednesday when Punjab and UT will apprise the Bench of steps initiated or proposed.
Move to prevent conflict, situation peaceful
Panchayat members and locals had requested administration to resolve the issue. The protesters have been removed to prevent conflict. No one will be allowed to disrupt peace. Traffic has been restored and situation is peaceful and normal. — Aashika Jain, Mohali DC
Two Cops injured; around 30 arrested
Some people, including two policemen, were injured and are undergoing medical examination. Around 30 persons have been arrested by the police in this connection. — Dr Sandeep Garg, Mohali SSP
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