Chandigarh, June 23 (UNI) BJP activists led by Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu were lathicharged today while protesting against the rising prices of essential commodities near sector 17 Parade Ground here.
The police had to resort to a mild lathicharge when Sidhu and his supporters insisted on marching to the Punjab Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum to the Governor on price rise. The police also used a water cannon to disperse the protestors who were shouting slogans against the UPA government.
The force of the water cannon dislodged Sidhu's turban who protested against the attitude of the police. A number of Sidhu's party colleagues expressed their anger at the police action and pelted stones at the cops, damaging a number of vehicles.
Sensing that the protestors were going out of hand, the police rounded up Sidhu and some of his colleagues and and escorted them to a waiting bus. They were taken to the Sector-17 police station and detained for two hours on charges of breach of peace.
They were let off by a magistrate but not before the police had registered a case under sections 147, 148, 323, 427, 332 and 353 of the IPC against the BJP activists. However, no one was named in the case as the police will investigate the entire matter and proceed accordingly.
Earlier, Sidhu addressed BJP workers from atop a jeep which was drawn by four horses. He condemned the UPA government for its failure in checking the prices of essential commodities.
Sidhu was proceeding to Raj Bhawan seated atop an elephant but all hell broke loose when the cops aimed the water cannon directly at Sidhu as a result of which his turban fell of his head and he got dreanched despite the best efforts of his gunman to save him from the fury of the cannon. The impact was also felt by the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sector-17 police station and his turban too was dislodged.
The water cannon, however, did not dampen the spirits of the MP from Amritsar as he castigated the Congress and the UPA-government for failing to check the rising prices. He condemned the police for using force on a group of peaceful demostrators.
The police justified its action maintaining that the BJP workers had become unruly and had pelted stones at the police when they were stopped from proceeding to the Punjab Raj Bhawan.
Later, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal condemned the police action against Sidhu and other BJP workers. The action of the UT Administration was against all norms of democracy and it should refrain from such actions, Mr Badal added while demanding the withdrawl of case against the BJP protestors.
UNI HS AKJ HT1810