The Longowal police today arrested 14 Dalits from Mander Kalan village, about 4 km from Longowal. They had been camping for the past few days on panchayat land, reserved for SCs, terming the auction of nine acres of reserved land as a “dummy” auction.Of the 14 persons, six were arrested under Sections 107, 151 of the CrPC while eight persons were held under Sections 107 and 150 of the CrPC.All 14 persons were produced today before Sangrur SDM Rajesh Dhiman who remanded six persons (booked under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC) in judicial custody till Friday while the remaining eight persons were let off by the SDM with a warning.Sunam DSP Jashandeep Singh said one Bhola Singh, a member of Scheduled Caste community, had got nine acres of reserved land in the auction on lease. A group of Dalits opposing the auction took possession of the land forcibly and did not allow Bhola Singh to cultivate the land.As a result, Bhola Singh lodged a complaint with the police against some persons under Sections 447, 148 and 149 of the IPC, the DSP added.The DSP said the police today got the land freed from the possession of the people who had been camping there for the past few days. However, the persons against whom Bhola Singh had lodged the complaint were still at large, he said.A leader of the Zamin Prapti Sangharsh Committee Pirthi Singh Longowal said Dalits today staged a dharna outside Longowal police station opposing the arrest of 14 persons. He said they raised slogans against the police, demanding cancellation of the “dummy” land auction and release of arrested persons.
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