A bandh called by employees of the electricity department and traders’ associations on Monday over increasing incidents of crime in Alwar turned violent when police lathicharged the protesters, leaving about a dozen of them injured. Police also arrested six protesters for “disrupting peace”.
Police said the protesters were forcing traders to shut their shops. “When we prevented them from doing so, they manhandled the personnel. The lathicharge was necessary to bring them to order,” deputy superintendent of police Girdhari Lal said.
More than a dozen protesters got injured in the police action, four of whom have been admitted to Alwar’s government general hospital.
The Vidhut Karamchari Samyukt Sangarsh Samiti and the Samyukt Vyapar Mahasangh called the bandh on Monday to protest the “deteriorating law and order” situation in the city. The Congress party was supporting the call. Electricity department employees said they were not satisfied with the investigation into the murder of one of their colleagues, a cashier, after he was robbed of Rs 11 lakh on July 30.
On Monday morning, protesters gathered at Hope Circus and began shouting slogans against the police administration and the local BJP MLA. There was scuffle between the police and protesters before police resorted to lathi-charge.
Congress leader Jitendra Singh, along with his supporters, staged a demonstration outside the Kotwali police station.
However, a trader, Mahesh Bhardwaj, minced no words and blamed BJP MLA Banwari Lal Singhal for the “inhuman and undemocratic” police action on the protestors. Mahesh, who got seven stitches in his head, said the MLA didn’t want the bandh to be a success. The MLA, however, denied the allegation in a press conference in the evening.
Vidhut Karamchari Samyukt Sangarsh Samiti chairman JP Gupta said more than a dozen employees had received injuries during the lathi- charge.
Samyukt Vyapar Mahasangh chief Dharam Pal Tanwar also called the police action uncalled for. “We were only raising slogans when cops charged at us,” he said.