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Bishnoi seeks judicial probe into police ‘atrocities’

Chandigarh, March 6 (IANS) Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) chief Kuldeep Bishnoi Saturday demanded a judicial probe into reports that policemen damaged over 100 private vehicles during a protest rally of his party here Friday.

‘Chandigarh Police has marked an inquiry into this case but it is not fair because many of their own officials were involved in rioting and damaging our vehicles. Therefore we demand an independent judicial probe into this entire incident. My protest will continue and I will sit on hunger strike from March 8,’ Bishnoi, who is in Delhi, told IANS over the phone Saturday.

He added: ‘I am in Delhi right now but I will return to Chandigarh Monday and will meet the Punjab governor to apprise him about the atrocities of the police. They had mercilessly beaten old people and women. We have all the recordings and I will produce them before the governor.’

Earlier Chandigarh Police had ordered an inquiry into reports that policemen damaged private vehicles during the HJC protest rally.

Inspector General of Police Pradeep Kumar Srivastava has asked Superintendent of Police (Operations) R.S. Ghuman to probe the incident.

On Saturday, a local court here sent 21 members of HJC, who were arrested Friday on the charges of rioting and assaulting, to judicial custody.

These members, which also include some senior leaders of the party, were presented here Saturday evening in the court of civil judge Hem Raj Mittal.

However, police are yet to arrest other three senior leaders of the HJC, including party chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, Ran Singh Mann and Dharampal Malik, who were also booked by the police on similar charges.

More than 2,000 HJC workers, led by Bishnoi, protested against the Haryana government policies Friday. The police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) used batons, tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.

After that, the policemen reportedly smashed the windscreens and windows of some 125 vehicles parked close to the rally ground, the HJC said. Even the vehicles of some journalists were damaged.

‘Police from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana and CRPF were called to control the situation. It all happened because of lack of coordination,’ a senior Chandigarh Police official told IANS Saturday.

HJC leader Yogendra Nath Mehrotra told IANS: ‘We were leaving the venue but police blocked our way and damaged our cars and buses. This is totally intolerable in a democratic country.’

Nearly 100 people, including 35 policemen, were injured in the clashes.

Police said they used force because the mob was out of control. Twenty-one people were arrested, Senior Superintendent of Police S.S. Srivastava said Saturday.

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