Punjab: Amritpal supporters evicted from Harike bridge after lathicharge

ByGaurav Sagar Bhaskar
Mar 22, 2023 01:16 PM IST

Five police personnel injured as supporters of radical Sikh leader, who had been protesting on the Amritsar-Ferozepur highway for three days, turn violent when asked to lift the blockade

Punjab Police resorted to mild cane-charge to clear the Harike bridge on the Ferozepur-Amritsar highway of supporters of fugitive radical Sikh leader Amritpal Singh on Wednesday. Five policemen were injured in the operation.

Punjab Police personnel clearing Sohana Chowk in Mohali town of Amritpal Singh’s supporters on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)
Punjab Police personnel clearing Sohana Chowk in Mohali town of Amritpal Singh’s supporters on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)

For three days, Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal’s supporters were sitting on protest at the bridge at Harike, a town in Zira sub division, 60km from the border district headquarters of Ferozepur, besides another bridge over the Sutlej at Kot Buddha village, 22km from Ferozepur, on an alternative route to reach Amritsar via Tarn Taran.

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“On Tuesday, nearly 400 protesters tried to block both sides of the bridge over the Sutlej river at Harike but the police managed to keep one side open for traffic,” a senior police official said, requesting anonymity. “To avoid the situation from getting exploited by anti-social elements, the protesters were not allowed to carry swords to the sites. Many of them carried sticks but a few managed to bring swords along,” police sources said.

“A heavy deployment of police was made at Harike early on Wednesday morning and at 7.30am, the police asked the protesters to clear the road. When they resisted and started attacking the police instead, security forces used mild cane charge to disperse them. Later, the police took the entire protest site under its control,” the sources added.

After Harike, another police team secured the alternative route at Kot Budda village from where about 30 agitators were evicted.

“We had been pleading with the agitators to clear the road in public interest. But today at Harike, they attacked policemen and injured five of them. We were left with no option but to use mild canecharge to disperse them,” said Ranjit Singh Dhillon, the deputy inspector general of police, Ferozepur range.

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