SYL row: Punjab police arrest Abhay Chauthala, other INLD leaders for defying prohibitory orders
Several INLD leaders of Haryana, including Abhay Chautala, were stopped from entering Punjab on Thursday to participate in the digging of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal and were arrested for breaching prohibitory orders.punjab Updated: Feb 23, 2017 20:49 IST
Several INLD leaders of Haryana, including Abhay Chautala, were stopped from entering Punjab on Thursday to participate in the digging of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal and were arrested for breaching prohibitory orders.
Chautala, along with several INLD leaders, including Ashok Arora and Ram Pal Majra and other party MLAs and workers, totalling 73, were arrested by the Punjab police near Shambhu barrier at Haryana-Punjab border for breaching section 144 of the CrPC.
The leaders decided to court arrest after the Punjab police with its elaborate security arrangements foiled their attempts to cross over to the state, capping fears of showdown between the INLD workers and security forces.
“We have arrested them for violating Section 144. They have been booked under Section 188 of IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),” Punjab police, DIG, Patiala Range, Ashish Chaudhary said.
Asked if Chautala was among those arrested, he said, “A total of 73 INLD workers including Chautala have been arrested. They will be produced before Rajpura sub divisional magistrate in the evening.”
He added that other INLD workers who had gathered near the Shambhu border dispersed following the Punjab police warning to clear the National Highway.
Before their arrest, some INLD workers, in a symbolic gesture of their proposed digging of SYL canal in Punjab, dug up some land near the Haryana-Punjab border on Haryana side.
Amid fears of showdown between INLD workers and security forces, a huge posse of personnel was deployed and about 10-feet high barricades had been put up at the main entry points from Haryana from where the INLD workers had planned to enter Punjab.
A large number of INLD workers led by Chautala, however, managed to cross the barricades put up by the Haryana police on their side at Shambhu barrier as “no resistance” was offered to them by their state police.
Shambu barrier is located on National Highway-1 on Punjab and Haryana border in Patiala district, about 30 km from Chandigarh.
INLD workers marched from Ambala vegetable market, about 3 km from Shambhu barrier after Chautala concluded his address to “Jal Yudh Sammelan” rally and asked his party workers to move towards Kapoori village in Patiala in Punjab peacefully to dig SYL canal in order to take Haryana’s share of water from the canal.