Gidderbaha MLA and national president of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Amrinder Singh Raja Warring along with hundreds of party workers on Monday staged a protest demanding the immediate release of the student union activists from Faridkot jail.
11 boys and one girl are currently lodged in the modern jail Faridkot in relation to the vandalism incident of a New Deep Transport bus here on May 6.
The protesters sought permission from the police and jail authorities to allow the IYC president to meet the protesters and in the meanwhile blocked the Faridkot-Amritsar road. After being denied the IYC workers reached up to the main gate of the jail shouting slogans against the government.
The protesters struggled for over half an hour to enter the jail and the police had to use mild force to disperse them. The jail is situated on the Farikdot-Amritsar road, 2 km outside the town.
The police had to then round up Raja Warring and other senior leaders from the protest site to disperse the protesters, but nearly hundreds IYC workers courted arrest and boarded the police bus. Police official could be seen convincing the leaders to leave the town, but when they refused they were detained for about an hour.
“No formal arrest has been made and they were only detained in at the Police Lines station for some time,” said Vishaljeet Singh, DSP Faridkot.
“We want to meet the students in the jail as it is our democratic right. They have been implicated in false cases by the police under political pressure. We have come here to warn the government that if such cases on the false complaints of bus operators are registered in future, IYC would resort to state-level protests,” said Raja Warring.
“The private bus transporters, including the Badal family and their associates have allegedly earned crores of rupees illegally by monopolising the transport business and if the glasses of a bus were damaged by the protesters over the Moga incident, they could have avoided the registration of criminal cases against the protesters,” said Warring.
Before reaching the modern jail the cavalcade of IYC vehicles stopped near the bridge on the Rajasthan and Sirhind feeder in Faridkot and blocked the traffic as a symbolic protest.
MLAs Bhart Bhushan Ashu and Kuljeet Singh Nagra, Vikramjeet Singh Choudhary, state president of IYC Dhanjeet Singh Virk, halqa in-charge Faridkot, Vijayinder Singla and former youth leader Sukwinder Danny.
FAMILIES ALLEGE TORTURE
“My son, Manga Singh Azad, an activist of Naujvan Bhart Sabha and others were badly tortured by the police in custody in presence of bus operators. I have met them and they told me that they were severely beaten up. They have still scars from the beating,” said Gurdeep Kaur, resident of Muktsar.
Gurdeep and others also claimed that they were on hunger strike in jail for two days demanding that besides their families, others should be allowed to meet them. Balkar Singh, superintendent of modern jail denied that the protesters were on strike. “They are being provided all facilities in jail as per rules and they have no problem here,” he said.