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Video of vandals running amok with swords, groping women in Tarn Taran goes viral

The video shows the men dragging women by the hair, and vandalising shops of Adda Bazar.

punjab Updated: Feb 03, 2018 10:08 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Tarn Taran
Vandalism,crime,Tarn taran
A CCTV grab of hooliganism in a Tarn Taran market on January 31. Police have booked 16 in the case. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Two days after at least 16 men with swords wreaked havoc in one of the busiest market of the town, the video of the incident went viral on Friday, and panic prevailed as the police have made just one arrest. The video of Wednesday evening shows the men groping and dragging women by the hair, and vandalising shops of Adda Bazar, after they reportedly were angered in a dispute over a pending payment with a shopkeeper.

The police booked 16 persons, including four who were identified but said to be minors, on charges of attempt to murder. These included a person who had come to recover some money from the complainant shopkeeper, Shashi Bhushan, but got angry as he could not pay that day. They first vandalized his shop and then went on a rampage. Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Darshan Singh Mann said they have arrested one of them.

The town’s residents are angry at the police administration and politicians. “It is a sad state of affairs that people here had to see such a day. Residents are still living in fear,” said Harikrishan Arora, a social activist.

Surinder Kumar Rinku, one of the shopkeepers, who received an injury too, said some shopkeepers called the police but the cops reached after the goons had already left the spot even though a police station is “hardly 40 metres” away. “The goons bullied people in the market for around 40 minutes,” he said.

Opposition party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has demanded action against the policemen. Virsa Singh Valtoha, SAD spokesperson, and former MLAs Harmeet Singh Sandhu and Ravinder Singh Brahmpura held a press conference in Amritsar and demanded immediate transfer of the SSP, and suspension of DSP (city) Satnam Singh, SHO Harit Sharma and ASI Nirmal Singh.

Valtoha said, “The shopkeepers informed the police but ASI Nirmal Singh refused to come to the spot, making an excuse that he had not received any order from his SHO. If police had reached in time, those men could have been arrested.”

He added, “The goons also groped girls who were going to pay obeisance at a gurdwara. This is shameful for the whole country.”

The SSP, however, denied the allegations of inaction. “The accused were minor and it was a tussle over money with a shopkeeper. We have booked all of them.”

He added, “As the video shows the accused also dragging girls, harsh action will be taken against them as per the law.”

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 10:08 IST