As many as 12 people were injured — two of them seriously, when the Kapurthala police on Wednesday cane-charged members of the Valmiki-Mazhabi Sikh Morcha during a protest at Shalimar Bag here on Wednesday.
The members were assembled to hold a peaceful rally to protest against "objectionable" words used by a Sikh preacher written in book "Barha Maha Majh" against Lord Valmiki.
The morcha members were on way to Kacheri Chowk from Shalimar Bagh side under the supervision of superintendent of police (headquarters) Amrik Singh Dhami and deputy superintendent of police (city) Balwinder Iqbal Singh Kahlon to submit a memorandum to deputy commissioner DS Mangat when some of the members suddenly started creating ruckus and forcibly started closing shops in the market.
When the situation started turning tense cops lathi-charged the protesters.
Last year, a similar incident was reported at Gurdwara Rupanpur Vajhola, when one of the preachers (kathawachak) recited the same words for Bhagwan Valmiki a case was registered at the Subanpur police station.
Mahinder Singh Hamira, president of the morcha, accused Kapurthala police to lathi-charge the members despite they were holding a peaceful protest and there was no one present from the administration.
According to the Constitution, he said, everybody has right to hold peaceful demonstration, but it was a black day in the history in Kapurthala.
He accused that police had also detained dozens of morcha members without any fault.
When contacted, SSP Dhanpreet Kaur denied the cane-charging on morcha members; however, said the cops just tried to stop them from forcibly closing shops. The SSP also denied charges that police have detained any person.
We will take action after viewing videos of the protest, she added.
The two seriously injured persons, identified as Kulwant Singh and Jaspal Singh, admitted at the Kapurthala civil hospial.