Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma, Vijay Sampla detained at start of their yatra

The yatra was not allowed to begin in view of the ongoing farmers’ protests across the state

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 22

BJP state president Ashwani Sharma and former union MoS Vijay Sampla, among many BJP leaders, were detained by the police on Thursday just at the start of their yatra.

The yatra was not allowed to begin in view of the ongoing farmers’ protests across the state.

The detained leaders were brought to Circuit House, where they are sitting on a dharna against the state government. 

The Punjab unit of the BJP had planned to take out a 'Dalit Insaf Yatra' in protest against the alleged atrocities on the scheduled caste community and post-matric SC scholarship scam in the state.

The rally was to start from Jalandhar and end at the residence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh.

As the BJP leaders and workers started their 'yatra' in their vehicles at Surya enclave in Jalandhar, police personnel stopped them and detained many senior state party leaders.

Party general secretary Jeevan Gupta and former minister Manoranjan Kalia were among the people who were detained by police.

They were brought in a bus to Circuit House in Jalandhar. Later, they were released.

Talking to reporters, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Som Parkash said the protest rally was organised against the alleged multi-crore post-matric Scheduled Caste scholarship scam and "atrocities" on Dalits.

"We wanted to wake up the state government from its slumber on these issues through this rally," Parkash said.

Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said the party will continue to fight till the SC community gets justice.

Former Union minister Vijay Sampla said that stopping the BJP's protest rally was “unconstitutional”.

BJP leaders had been demanding a CBI probe into the alleged scholarship scam in which the name of minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had figured.

After the allegations of Rs 64 crore misappropriation in the SC scholarship scheme had surfaced, the chief minister had directed the chief secretary to conduct a thorough enquiry.

The chief secretary's report, based on the findings of the three-member panel of IAS officers led by Food Secretary KAP Sinha, had exonerated Dharamsot. — With PTI inputs

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