Angry villagers block Punjab highway

Mohali (Punjab), Aug 7 (IANS) Hundreds of villagers blocked one of the busiest national highways that connects Chandigarh with Punjab’s industrial hub of Ludhiana for about five hours Saturday to protest alleged police inaction.

National Highway 95 was blocked around 9.30 p.m. Friday by residents of Ghaduan village. They blocked the highway alleging that three people, including a woman, were attacked in the village and the police had failed to arrest the attackers.

There was a traffic jam on over 10 km stretch of the highway, and scores of cars, buses and trucks were stranded. It was opened for traffic early Saturday.

‘Some agitated villagers blocked the highway. They alleged that some miscreants had attacked them,’ a police officer said here.

Ghaduan sarpanch (village head) Sarabjit Singh said: ‘Savitri Devi and her two sons were attacked by the widow’s brother-in-law Ravinder Sood and a dozen miscreants Friday evening. There is some old ancestral property dispute between them.’

‘When we intervened, Sood attacked us. We called the police but they did not arrest them. They let them go without taking any action. We blocked the highway to make our voices heard,’ he said.

He alleged that the villagers were forced to come out on the highway due to police inaction.

The police officer said: ‘Heavy police force was called on the spot. The traffic is moving freely. We are keeping a close tab on the situation.’

Savitri Devi’s family said her husband died under mysterious circumstances about two years ago. They alleged that Sood murdered him and Savitri Devi had filed written complaints to senior police officers.

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