Covered statues(Sameer Sehgal)
Covered statues(Sameer Sehgal)

HERITAGE STREET VANDALISM: Dharna lifted after murder bid charges dropped against accused

Admn covers folk dancers’ statues with tarpaulin, assures protesters to relocate them in 30 days
Hindustan Times, Amritsar | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 29, 2020 10:17 PM IST

The protesters on Wednesday lifted the dharna after police dropped attempt to murder charges against nine people accused of trying to vandalise folk dancers’ statues from the Heritage Street leading to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The police also assured the protesters that other charges slapped against the accused will be dropped. The administration has covered the statues with tarpaulins, assuring to shift them within 30 days.

Those arrested for the January 15 vandalism bid are Ravinder Singh of Ganaur village in SBS Nagar; Maninder Singh and Harwinder Singh of Rupnagar; Gursewak Singh of Hussanpur village in Batala; Ranjit Singh of Chabhal village and Amarbir Singh of Manjh village in Tarn Taran; Rajbir Singh and Harkawal Singh of Amritsar; and Amrit Singh of Moga.

They had managed to break the marble panes of the platform on which the bronze statues are mounted. The police had alleged that the accused attacked a team of cops who tried to stop them accused vandalising the statues.

Following the vandalism, the Akal Takht, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Shiromani Ragi Sabha, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Shiromani Dhadi Sabha and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committees had come out in the support of those arrested by police.

Sikh organisations, including Satkar Committee, were protesting at the Heritage Street since January 15 demanding the removal of statues from the Golden Temple vicinity, and the release of those arrested.

On Tuesday, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh told the cultural affairs department to shift statues of folk dancers, and directed Punjab Police chief to review the cases and withdraw stringent sections.

Deputy commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon said they were following the government’s order. Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-City 1) Harjeet Singh Dhaliwal said they are also reviewing the other sections slapped against the accused.

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