A protest by Kisan and Khet Mazdoor Cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress today turned ugly when lathi-wielding Chandigarh Police personnel resorted to mild lathicharge and used water cannons to disperse the agitators. At least two injured protesters, Hardev Singh and Gurinder Singh Taran Taran, were shifted to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 here. Congress workers, led by Inderjit Singh Zira, the chairman of the cell, had threatened to march towards the residence of the Punjab Chief Minister to raise their voice against the delay in payments to farmers against wheat procurement. At least 100 protesters, including Zira and CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, were taken under preventive arrest before being let off. Zira said he would meet the Governor over the issue. The trouble began when after rounding up the protesters, cops, led by Sector 11 SHO Narinder Patial, entered the premises of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) office while chasing certain protesters. Video grabs released by the PPCC show the SHO moving around the premises while looking for protesters. There were blood stains inside the PPCC premises. In the melee, two scribes were also allegedly assaulted by the policemen. The scribes received minor injuries. Objecting to the forcible entry of the police force, Capt Sandeep Singh Sandhu, in-charge of the PPCC office, in a complaint to the Punjab Governor, the UT Adviser and senior police officials accused the SHO of trespassing, manhandling, wrongfully restraining and assaulting staff and workers of the Congress.After the protest had ended and leaders taken under preventive arrest, the police force led by the SHO barged into the Congress Bhawan without any reason and behaved in a most unprofessional manner with the persons present there.Demanding registration of a case against the SHO for trespass, assault, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation, the PPCC has demanded strict disciplinary action against the guilty.
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