Indian Youth Congress chief and Gidderbaha MLA Amrinder Singh Raja Warring on Friday said in case the police did not withdraw the criminal case registered against the activists of the Punjab Students Union in a week, the Indian Youth Congress would launch a statewide protest to stop the fleet of the private buses owned by the Badals and their associates from plying.
The youth Congress also demanded a judicial inquiry into the episode and suspension of police action against the protesters.
It termed Section 307 as damaging, irrelevant and harsher against the protesters and invoked under alleged political pressure, only to implicate the protesters.
Raja Warring visited Faridkot on Friday, along with Youth Congress workers, burnt the effigy of the state government in front of city police station and submitted a memorandum to the police.
The Congress workers and the party's local leaders also raised slogans against the Punjab government, condemning the alleged arbitrary action against the protesters and termed it as an intimidation by the private bus lobby.
"We warn the police administration that the registration of the criminal case against the protesters should be cancelled in a week. They were protesting peacefully against the Moga incident and did not intend to harm anyone. They were rather provoked by the staff of the bus which led to its damage out of anger against the lawlessness created by the private bus operators close to the Badal family," Warring said, addressing the gathering outside the city police station.
"We demand the suspension of the police personnel who have registered the false case. If the case against the students is not cancelled, we will gherao the office of the SSP and the Congress would be forced to launch a statewide protest against the government," Warring said.
"There was no murderous attack, it was a protest in a democratic way, so Section 307 of the IPC is irrelevant; the protesters could be booked only for damage to private property at the most," said Darshan Dhilwan, state organising secretary of the SC cell of the Congress.
"The Youth Congress will fully support the falsely implicated students in getting justice," said Dhanjit Singh Virk, Faridkot halqa inchage of the Congress.
The police had booked 20 people by name, including six women, for attempt to murder, voluntary causing hurt, deterring/obstructing public servants from duty, rioting and unlawful assembly with deadly weapons) on Wednesday besides 15 to 20 unidentified people.
The police have booked the protesters on the complaint of Satpal Singh, an adda incharge of New Deep bus service from Rajeana village.
The police said the driver of the bus was assaulted with sharp-edged weapons and was injured. But Rajinder Singh, state general secretary of the Punjab Students Union, claimed that no one attacked the driver, who was seen driving the bus to the police station after the incident. He said they wanted a fair investigation into the injuries to the driver, if any.
He said the students carried only flags and wooden sticks, and there was no sharp-edged weapon with then.
Twelve accused, including a minor and a girl, were arrested from the spot and are in judicial custody.
SSP Charanjeet Singh Sharma said he would look into the matter and they might go in for legal opinion.