Tear gas shells, lathicharge and stone-pelting prevailed at Colony Number 4, Industrial Area Phase 1, as the family of a three-year-old girl who was found murdered on Saturday morning, and other residents protested against police inaction and demanded action against area SHO Devinder Sharma.
Initially, the victim's parents, relatives and other residents kept her body in the forest area near the colony and refused to handover the body to the police for autopsy.
Chandigarh DIG AS Cheema visited the spot to pacify the protesters, but failed to do so. As a result, the police resorted to lathicharge and fired tear shells to disperse the crowd.
In retaliation, the protesters started pelting the cops with stones and vandalised police vehicles.
Cops later managed to get the custody of the body and sent it to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, for autopsy.
After the body was taken away, the mob came down on main link road between Dakshin Marg and Industrial Area Phase 1 near Elante mall. The protesters blocked the road for around four hours, and even attacked the vehicles passing by the road.
When SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill reached the spot, the protesters pelted his convoy with stones and damaged his escort vehicle and a van. Two cops were also injured. The protesters raised slogans against the police. The personal security guard of the SSP was injured and rushed to PGIMER.
ASP (East) Parminder Singh also suffered minor injuries in the stone pelting. DIG Cheema claimed that around 25-30 cops were injured in the incident. Later, four protesters were arrested. To control the situation, as many as 400 cops were deployed at the colony. Two separate cases of rioting were registered against the protesters.
"Someone wearing a red T-shirt took away my daughter as she was last seen with him," said the victim's father, who works with the housekeeping section of a famous mall in Industrial Area. "My daughter was very close to me. Someone please get my daughter back," he cried. Father of three daughters, he said his two daughters stayed in the village and only the youngest was staying with him.
"On Friday evening, my daughter went out to play around 8.30pm. We have many relatives living in the colony, so I thought she must be at someone's house. When my daughter didn't return, we went to the police to lodge a complaint. We kept searching for her the entire night, but in vain. We were shocked to find her body on Saturday morning. I am completely clueless who kidnapped my daughter and killed her," he said.
"The police had left the search operation at 2am and we found the body on our own," he alleged.