Activists of Balmiki Mazhabi Sikh Morcha Punjab staged a dharna in Kapurthala on Friday to mark their protest against the district police for allegedly booking five persons under 'false' charges of attempt to murder and other sections.
Hundreds of workers, including several women, gathered near the local Ramnik Chowk at 2 pm and later, in shape of procession passed through different bazaars of the city raising slogans against the Kapurthala police and the state government. State president Mohinder Singh Hamira led the protest.
"The police have fabricated a story just to nail the morcha leaders. Renowned landlords of the area have been booked for snatching. None of the five accused drink, but the police is branding them as drunkards," alleged Hamira, while addressing a gathering.
The police, in an FIR registered on November 12 at Talwandi Choudharian police booked Lakha Singh, his sons Sahib Singh, Kulwant Singh and Gurjant Singh, all residents of village Sheikh Manga, along with Joginder Singh, a resident of village Bhagorayian and arrested all of them on the charges of opening fire on head munshi, on duty in police station.
"The police also thrashed the arrested persons on November 12. Joginder Singh Bhagorayian, one of the accused, fainted after the assault," Hamira alleged.
"We want strict actions against the policemen responsible for the atrocities on dalit leaders and quashing of stringent sections mentioned in the FIR," he demanded.
Later, the protesters sat on a dharna opposite the SSP Kapurthala's office and blocked traffic on Kapurthala-Sultanpur road. The dharna went till 6.30pm and was lifted after a meeting held between representatives of morcha and SSP Inderbir Singh at police lines Kapurthala.
"The police have assured us that the case will be reinvestigated by an SP rank officer and sought a time of one week. Till then, we have postponed our protest," Hamira said.