Punjab DGP to probe Dussehra clash between Akali, Congress activists

Chandigarh, Oct 13 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday ordered DGP Suresh Arora to probe a violent clash between activists of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the opposition Congress on Dussehra eve in Ludhiana.

Badal directed the Director General of Police to visit Ludhiana for an on-the-spot inquiry into Monday evening’s incident.

“I have asked the DGP to personally probe the incident and submit a report within three days,” Badal told the media here.

Certain Congress leaders had put up an effigy of a ‘chitta’ (colloquial term for drugs in Punjab) Ravana during Dussehra celebrations to highlight the state government’s alleged failure to curb the drug menace in Punjab.

The clash left a few Congress leaders injured.

The Punjab Police later arrested a Youth Congress leader Parvinder Lapran. Five other Congress leaders were also booked.

Badal’s directive to the DGP came after Congress leaders led by former Leader of the Opposition Sunil Jakhar and Ludhiana Member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu protested outside the Chief Minister’s residence here on Thursday against the alleged high-handedness of the Punjab Police in the case.

A Chief Minister’s Office spokesperson said that Badal personally spoke to the agitating Congress leaders and assured them that the law would take its own course and anybody found guilty would not be spared.

Jakhar said the probe was an eyewash and that earlier probes by the Punjab Police into major incidents of crime had yielded nothing.

The Congress leaders alleged that Ludhiana Police Commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh was behaving like an Akali Dal agent and targeting Congress leaders and activists.

Congress activists had, on Wednesday, barged into the commissioner’s office in Ludhiana and pasted stickers saying ‘Proud to be an Akali’.