About 50 protesters were arrested by the Polish, and one Polish employee was injured in all this.Jab Barish Punjab Di chief and rail Sikh leader Amritpal Singh visited Gurudwara Singh in Sohna on Tuesday afternoon. The blockade by the supporters of Shaheed Chowk was allowed.
The protesters had laid siege to the busy traffic junction for three days since the police crackdown on Amritpal and his supporters.The police recovered swords, spears, and farm implements from the protesters. The police action was taken after the gurdwara management objected to the blocking of the crossing.the morning, the gurdwara staff urged the armed protesters to clear the passage as the protest was preventing devotees from visiting the place of worship and causing panic in the area.
Though Punjab Police had stepped up security in the town bordering the state capital of Chandigarh to tackle any eventuality since the crackdown on the separatist leader, they got into action after 11.30am when the group backed by Gurdwara Shaheedan Sahib approached the protesters, urging them to remove their tent clear the road.An argument ensued and the protesters got into a scuffle with the group backed by the gurdwara following which its sewadars (staff) removed the tents.Women and elderly men kept sitting on the road to continue with the protest. It was then that the police swung into action and removed the barricades on both sides of the road.
After removing stones and cement blocks that were used to block the road, the police opened the crossing for traffic to ply in a phased manner. But soon a group of armed youngsters landed up, stopping traffic. A scuffle broke out again after they surrounded a journalist. A policeman ran to his rescue and was injured on the face.Soon, senior police officials approached the protesting group and told them to remove the blockade. When they did not comply, nearly 200 police personnel surrounded the protesters and began apprehending them. They were taken away in buses and police pick-up vehicles stationed nearby.
First, women cops took away female protesters after which the police removed the tent and carried away paraphernalia, including bamboo sticks, iron rods and tarpaulin. Thereafter, the police apprehended the male protesters and took away their weapons.Mohali superintendent of police, rural, Navreet Singh Virk said that for four days, the devotees could not enter the gurdwara due to which food being prepared for the langar (community kitchen) was going waste.
SP, City, Akashdeep Singh Aulakh said the gurdwara management had been urging the protesters to end their unlawful agitation since Monday evening, but in vain. It was when both groups clashed that the police intervened and cleared the crossing.There was no lathi-charge or use of force to remove the protesters. Some of the protesters showed resistance, so they were picked up and taken to police stations. 50 people have been rounded up and appropriate action will be taken against them,” Aulakh said.
Commuters, residents heave sigh of relief
Normal traffic resumed at the intersection from 2pm on Tuesday.Residents, shopkeepers and commuters of the area heaved a sigh of relief.“For three days, we were living in fear of violence. We couldn’t step out of our houses as the protesters had laid siege to the crossing since Saturday,” said a resident of Sector 70.
Shopkeepers in the vicinity said business had come to a standstill due to the blockade. “For three days, we there were no customers due to the blockade and security restrictions. No one could visit this area. We had also urged these protesters to shift their blockade as we were incurring losses but they refused,” said a shopkeeper, requesting anonymity.Local commuter Gaurav Gupta said office-goers like him were facing a harrowing time taking detours to reach work in time. “Finally, the blockade has been cleared and we can breathe easy with traffic being restored,” he said.