Farmers on Friday blocked the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway at Ajitwal, around 15 km from the district headquarters, for two hours to protest alleged police inaction in a case of abetment to suicide against an ex-cop.
The protesters, under the banner of Bharti Kisan Union-Ekta led by Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, demanded the arrest of Kewal Singh Brar, who took early retirement from Punjab Police and is presently the Ferozepur district president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s farmer wing.
Kewal was booked by the Ajitwal police on January 9 for abetting his business partner Jaswinder Singh Brar’s suicide.
Sources said Jaswinder, who ran a tractor repair shop, had started a factory unit along with Kewal. Kewal allegedly cheated him of Rs 60 lakh, following which Jaswinder entered into depression and committed suicide.
Union protested in February too
The farmers’ union had staged a dharna to demand Kewal’s arrest earlier too, but it was lifted within four days after police detained the protesters on February 15. Moga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Toor had released the farmers with the assurance that the accused would be arrested within 10 days.
“Fifteen days have passed since the police assurance, but nothing has been done so far,” Kokrikalan said, while addressing the gathering on Friday.
Heavy police force was deployed at the site of blockade and traffic was diverted through villages to maintain law and order. Nihal Singh Wala deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Surinder Kumar assured the farmers of arresting the accused, but sought more time.
Giving the police 20 more days, Kokrikalan said if the accused is not arrested by March 23, the union will intensify the protest.