At least 17 people, including five cops, were injured after a protest turned violent at Rampura Phul town near here on Monday. A dozen protesters have been booked on attempt to murder charge after the incident.
The protesters had blocked the Bathinda-Barnala road, seeking justice for Amandeep Kaur, who was five months pregnant when she committed suicide by consuming poison in Sidhana village last week. Accusing the police of “deliberate” inaction, her kin demanded the arrest of her husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who have been booked for abetment to suicide.
The protesters, who had come from the victim’s native village -- Dhanaula Khurd in Barnala district -- also staged a dharna outside the Phul police station before blocking the road.
When the cops tried to disperse the protesters, they allegedly resorted to stone-pelting. The police retaliated with lathicharge and also fired shots in the air. Those injured in the incident were taken to the Rampura Phul civil hospital. A police vehicle was also damaged.
Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) Swapan Sharma said the protesters were the first to turn violent and also tried to block the railway line. He said most of them had come from Sardulgarh area of Mansa district in tractor-trailers and were carrying bricks.
Claiming the police are already looking for the suicide victim’s husband and in-laws, Sharma said 12 people have been arrested for violence during the protest. They have booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public duty) of the Indian Penal Code.