A protest rally held by radical Sikh organisations in Gurdaspur to demand the arrest of the killers of Jaspal Singh of nearby Chorh Sidhwan village, who died in police firing during a bandh on March 29, passed off peacefully on Wednesday.
The district administration had made tight security arrangements to check any untoward incident during the protest rally. Though Section 144 of CrPC was announced in Gurdaspur, authorities allowed the agitators to hold the protest at the deputy commissioner office on the assurance that the protesters would maintain peace.
Some youths did shout provocative slogans during the march towards the DC office. However, rally organisers asked the youths not to shout objectionable slogans since it would not help secure punishment for those who shot dead Jaspal (18), a first semester student at the local Beant College of Engineering and Technology.
Those who led the protest rally included former MP Dhian Singh Mand, SAD (Panch Pardhani) chairman Daljit Singh Bittu, ex-IAS officer Gurtej Singh, SAD (Amritsar) general secretary Prof MPSingh, Dal Khalsa chief Harcharanjit Singh Dhami, Simranjit Singh, SAD leaders Satnam Singh and Kartar Singh Khakh, Damdami Taksal representative Lakhwinder Singh and parents and relatives of the deceased.
The speakers told the gathering that a radical Sikh leader Baljit Singh Daduwal was taken into police custody in Bathinda to prevent him from taking part in the protest rally in Gurdaspur.
Handing over a memorandum to DC Abhinav Trikha, the protest leaders urged the state government to arrest persons who had allegedly beaten up four Sikh youths and removed their turbans during the bandh observed by Sikh organisations in Gurdaspur on March 28 to demand clemency for Balwant Singh Rajoana in the Beant Singh assassination case.
The DC told them that the accused had been granted bail by a local court till July 6, 2012. The protest leaders demanded the arrest and suspension of police officers allegedly responsible for the death of Jaspal.
They asserted that they did not have faith in the Special Investigation Team of the police and demanded a CBI probe into the "unprovoked firing" by police that killed Jaspal and injured another youth Ranjit Singh (18) of Pandher village.
Meanwhile, the DC asked them to join the ongoing probe into the incident by Jalandhar division commissioner Anurag Verma who would rejoin duty on June 22.
Sources said that a high court lawyer Navkiran Singh engaged by the parents of the deceased would return on June 28 from abroad to take up their case.