The Punjab Youth Congress on Wednesday held a protest demonstration outside the Punjab Congress Bhawan at Sector 15 here against the SAD-BJP government for "shielding" the accused in the murder of Sukhraj Singh, a Congress candidate in the recent block samiti elections.
Sukhraj Singh, who was also the block Congress president, had succumbed to his injuries at a Patti hospital after Sarwan Singh and four others fired at him from a close range on May 8 when he, along with his family, had gone to pay obeisance at a gurdwara.
Congress workers who arrived from all across Punjab to participate in the protest demonstration were led by Punjab Youth Congress president Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary and MP Ravneet Singh Bittu.
Though the Youth Congress had planned to hold a protest demonstration outside the residence of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, they were prevented by the Chandigarh police from reaching there by invoking Section 144 of the CrPC.
The Chandigarh police used canes, water cannons and teargas shells to disperse off hundreds of Youth Congress leaders who were trying to march towards the residence of the chief minister.
The Chandigarh police had made elaborate arrangements and completely barricaded and cordoned off the roads leading to the Punjab Congress Bhawan. The UT police also completely blocked the road leading from Sector 15 to the PGI causing inconvenience to the commuters.
The protest scheduled to begin at 12.30 pm started around 2 pm as Chaudhary found it hard to reach there along with a cavalcade of nearly 70 vehicles, including several buses full of workers.
Since the UT police had barricaded the entire road outside the Punjab Congress office, the protesters could not go beyond Sector 15.
The Congress workers carried the effigies of CM Parkash Singh Badal, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, food and civil supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon and DGP Sumedh Singh Saini.
In a symbolic protest against these, all five effigies were hanged to death before being given a burial at the spot.
Chaudhary lambasted the ruling alliance alleging that instead of arresting the murderers of Sukhraj, both Kairon and the DGP were shielding the guilty.
Chaudhary said the intent of the police could be gauged from the fact that DIG border range Paramraj Singh Umranangal, instead of investigating the case fairly and arresting the guilty, had already stated in the media that Sarwan Singh, the prime suspect of the murder, was not even present at the crime spot.
Calling it ridiculous and shameful, the Youth Congress chief said this showed the "narrow and biased outlook" of the SAD-BJP government.
"It is high time the Punjab Police realised that by blindly toeing the line of Badals, Majithias and Kairons, they are helping in destroying the democratic set-up and freedom of the common man, which would have serious repercussions," said Chaudhary.
Chaudhary said the CM should realise that political scores were best settled through the ballot and not through bullet and "broad-day lynching" of innocent political rivals. The sacrifice of Sukhraj should not go in vain and the perpetrators of this heinous crime should be brought to book soon, he said.
The youth chief reiterated his commitment to carry on the struggle against the "atrocities" by the government till the culprits who murdered Sukhraj were arrested.