Seven persons have been named in the first information report (FIR) filed by the Chandigarh Police in connection with a violent clash in which around 30 policemen, including the Rapid Action Force personnel, were injured and several police vehicles were damaged by Sikh protests on Wednesday.
The seven persons named in the FIR are associated with the Qaumi Insaaf Morcha which is spearheading the protest to seek release of Sikh prisoners, including Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassination and Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, a 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict.
Among those booked are Qaumi Insaaf Morcha leaders Gurcharan Singh, Balwinder Singh, Amar Singh Chahal, Dilsher Singh Jandiala.
According to the FIR filed late on Wednesday, protesters allegedly snatched a teargas handgun, its ammunition and attempted to kill policemen amid raising of pro-Khalistan slogans during a violent clash which took place on Wednesday at Sector 52-53 at the Chandigarh-Mohali border when protesters tried to force their way to reach Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s official residence in Chandigarh.
Besides seven persons associated with the Qaumi Insaaf Morcha, many unidentified persons have been booked under 17 sections including 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, according to the Chandigarh Police FIR.
The FIR said the protestors deliberately damaged police vehicles and other police equipment. It said amid the raising of pro-Khalistan slogans, some protestors on tractors and horses attacked policemen with sticks, swords and spears with the intention to kill them.
The FIR said several police personnel who sustained injuries ran to save their lives and had they (policemen) not saved their lives by running away, the protestors would have killed them.
As per the FIR, a tear gas handgun, ammunition from the ‘vajra’ vehicle and several equipment lying in the vehicles of Rapid Action Force were taken away by the protestors, while around 20 police barricades were damaged.
The Chandigarh Police has also released the CCTV footage of the incident, in which several protestors carrying swords and sticks could be seen attacking police vehicles.
On Monday and Tuesday, the protestors had tried to move towards Chandigarh but were detained by police. Nihangs (Sikhs armed with traditional weapons), members of several Sikh bodies and others participated in the march.