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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Youth Congress Polls: 1 hurt as rival groups clash; gunshots fired

Police resort to mild lathicharge, over a dozen workers detained

cities Updated: Dec 04, 2019 23:21 IST
Mohit Khanna
Mohit Khanna
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Hindustantimes
         

A man was injured as two rival groups of the Youth Congress clashed when the polling to elect office-bearers of the body was in progress in the city on Wednesday.

Police resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse the clashing workers, one of whom even fired five gunshots. Over a dozen workers were detained.

The incident took place at a community centre in Model Town area in the afternoon after the groups led by Congress councillor Parvinder Singh Lapran and Youth Congress leader Gurjeet Singh had heated exchanges at a polling centre over allegations of bogus voting.

Gurjeet and Lapran were supporting Ashwani Kumar and Manraj Thukral, respectively, who are contesting for the Youth Congress president’s post from Atam Nagar constituency.

Later, supporters of the two groups exchanged blows.

A youth, identified as Tajinder Singh, 25, suffered a stab injury on his neck and was rushed to hospital. Later, one of the clashing workers fired five gunshots.

Congress workers also had a scuffle with the cops following a heated argument between assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Jatinder Chopra and Congress leader Gurpreet Gopi, son of ward number 49 councillor Rajinder Kaur.

Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the workers and detained over a dozen of them. ACP Chopra also suffered minor injuries while dispersing the crowd.

Later, the polling that was obstructed due to the clash was resumed.

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Ashwani Kapur said, “The clash reportedly took place due to a tiff over allegations of bogus voting. We will record the statement of the injured and appropriate action will be taken. All attempts to indulge in bogus voting were foiled.”

Meanwhile, Gurjeet Singh accused Manraj Singh Thukral and his brother Gundeep Singh Thukral, who are supporters of councillor Lapran, of opening fire and triggering panic in the area.

However, Lapran refused to comment on the matter, saying the guilty would face the law.

Meanwhile, Gurvinder Singh Gill, contesting for president from Ludhiana West, levelled allegations of vote rigging against cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and his supporters.

He also accused the police of not letting his supporters to cast vote.

SAD PROTESTS OVER ‘DETENTION’ OF PARTY WORKERS

Meanwhile, accusing the police of detaining the Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD) workers following the clash between Youth Congress groups, party leaders protested outside Gurdwara Singh Sabha.

Youth Akai Dal district president Gurdeep Singh Gosha and SAD district president Harbhajan Singh Dang said, “We came for a meeting at the gurdwara. Some party workers were standing outside the gurdwara and the police detained them after the Youth Congress clash.”

They claimed that the party workers were released after their protest.

However, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Jatinder Kumar said that no Akali worker was detained by the police. The gurdwara where the meeting of SAD leaders was held is far away from the clash site, he added.