At least 15 people were injured in a clash between labourers and farmers over the possession of land allotted to members of the Scheduled Castes community at Machhi Nangal village in Ajnala subdivision.
The government had allotted 22 plots of 5 marla each to landless and homeless SC labourers. However, the possession was not handed over to the beneficiaries and some farmers had got a sizeable portion of the land registered in their names, said sources.
The trouble started on Sunday morning when the beneficiaries, equipped with sticks, started constructing a boundary wall around the land. Opposing the move, a group of 25-30 farmers, also armed with sticks, challenged the beneficiaries leading to a violent clash. Members of both the side started pelting each other with stones. The heavy police force, led by Ajnala deputy superintendent of police Manmohan Singh, had to restore to a minor chanecharge and fired in the air to disperse members of the warring groups.
A head constable, Balwinder Singh, was also injured in the clash. The injured were taken to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.
Alleging that the police helped the farmers, Pendu Mazdoor Sabha (PMS) leader Dharminder Ajnala, who led the labourers, said the cops protected the farmers and canecharged the labourers. He alleged that the cops didn’t even spare women labourers.
Demanding registration of case against the cops and farmers under the SC/ST Act and attempt to murder, the labourers later staged a protest at the village.