Punjab cops barricade Mohali-Chandigarh border, thwart Sikh activists’ bid to march to CM’s house
Police taking no chances after February 8 flare-up that left 33 personnel injured; protesters hold dharna at light point against Bhagwant Mann’s failure to ensure release of Sikh prisoners who have completed their terms
Police barricaded the Mohali-Chandigarh border at the traffic signal of Sectors 52 and 53 to prevent agitating activists of the Qaumi Insaaf Morcha from marching to Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s residence in support of their demand for releasing Sikh prisoners who have completed their terms.
Besides plugging the Sector 52-53 light point, barricades were put up on both sides of the dividing road and heavy police force was deployed to prevent trouble. Police stationed a tipper truck to block the entry of the protesters to Chandigarh, while two riot control vehicles were parked on either side of the road leading to Chandigarh.
Prevented from marching ahead, the 31-member morcha delegation, carrying saffron and blue flags, decided to hold a dharna at the light point barricade itself.
Jaswinder Singh Rajpura and Indervir Singh, both members of the morcha’s coordination committee, condemned the Bhagwant Mann government for failing to ensure the release the Sikh prisoners. They said that the protest will remain peaceful and began reciting prayers.
On February 8, the Sikh activists had clashed with the police, leaving 33 personnel injured at the Sector 52-53 dividing road when the 31-member delegation (jatha) marching towards the chief minister’s residence was stopped from entering Chandigarh.
On April 1, a 10-member morcha delegation had tried to enter the Punjab Cricket Association stadium to raise the issue of freeing Sikh political prisoners during the IPL match. They were detained by the police at the entrance and later let off. A few hours before Saturday’s IPL encounter, nearly 200 men and women from the morcha staged a protest at the Phase 7-8 light point.