BJP leaders detained in Jalandhar

Had planned rally over Dalit issues

Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 22

Several BJP leaders, including Union Minister of State Som Parkash, BJP state president Ashwani Sharma, former state party chief Vijay Sampla and general secretary Subhash Sharma, were detained by the police here today.

The BJP had planned ‘Rally for justice for SCs’, which was supposed to start from here and culminate at the Chief Minister’s residence in Chandigarh, with an aim to highlight the non-implementation of the SC Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and harassment of a Dalit man in Fazilka.

BJP leaders had gathered at Surya Enclave, the site for its new party office, from where they were to head towards PAP Chowk and to Chandigarh. However, as soon as leaders got on to vehicles to begin the rally, a huge posse of police personnel prevented them for proceeding. The BJP leaders raised slogans against the government and insisted they be allowed to move. The BJP leaders were ultimately detained and taken to Circuit House where they staged a dharna on the premises.

“Neither me nor my party would get intimidated by the government. The CM is not acting against his minister in the SC students’ scholarship scam. Nor the Congress government is doing anything to prevent the increasing crime against the Dalit community. We will continue to raise our voice,” Sharma said.

Congress Dalit leaders, including MLAs Raj Kumar Chabbewal and Sushil Rinku, were quick to react. “The BJP should stop shedding crocodile tears when its image is already tarnished in the Hathras case. If it is concerned about scholarships of the students, why did the Centre stop the scheme? The Congress we will not let Dalit students suffer,” they said.

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