Morcha team halted at Chandigarh border


Mohali, February 9

A day after violence was witnessed during a protest rally by the Quami Insaaf Morcha seeking release of “Bandi Singhs”, a 31-member delegation of the morcha today again tried to march towards the Punjab Chief Minister residence but was stopped at the Chandigarh border amid heavy police deployment on the road separating Sectors 52 and 53. The protesters then sat on the road and chanted religious hymns for nearly three hours, before retreating.

Not taking a chance, the UT police had brought in impounded tippers, trucks and other heavy vehicles to barricade road crossings and plug openings in a bid to block protesters’ entry into the UT. On Wednesday, the morcha activists had clashed with the UT police and RAF personnel as they were prevented from entering the UT from Mohali. A large number of police personnel were injured and several police vehicles vandalised. The clash occurred on the road separating Sectors 52 and 53, away from YPS Chowk where protesters have been camping since January 7.

The police said stone pelting by protesters prompted them to use water cannons, while morcha activists claimed they were not involved in stone pelting and that some miscreants or outsiders were behind it.

Today, the Mohali police had deployed heavy force to prevent the protesters from entering the UT, prompting the morcha members to squat at the border for three hours before returning to the YPS Chowk.

The delegation, led by Inderbir Singh, said they would hold the exercise daily till the UT police allowed them to march to the CM’s residence. The farmers had allegedly broken barricades in an attempt to gherao the CM’s residence, forcing the UT police to retreat as protesters brandishing swords vandalised police vehicles.

Business as usual at protest site

A day after bloody clash between protesters and UT police, it was business as usual at the Mohali-Chandigarh border. While some were busy serving langar, others sat and listened to speeches by leaders.

UT cops step up security

The UT police made elaborate arrangements on the road separating Sectors 52/53. Tippers were parked on the road to block way towards residential areas. “Tippers are more effective as these can stop tractors,” said a cop.