Bandh in Abohar, another liquor vend torched
Life in Abohar and nearby areas came to a standstill as a complete bandh was observed over the killing of Dalit youth Bhim Tank reportedly at Akali leader Shiv Lal Doda’s farmhouse in Ramsara village.
Some of those who didn’t observe the bandh were punished. A liquor shop that was found open in Ramsara village was torched and the entrance gate of an evening newspaper office, near Haqiqat Rai Chowk, was smashed.
This was the fourth vend to have been targeted since December 11 when Tank’s limbs were chopped off, which led to his death. The district authorities had advised liquor vend owners to keep shops closed until the last rites of Tank were performed.
Municipal Council president Pramil Kalani, Chandigarh and Punjab Journalists Union and Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa, an NGO, said the incident was unfortunate. Newspaper editor Shiv Garg said shutters were downed partially and work had not begun.
With the Bhim Tank Murder Action Committee’s bandh call receiving a strong response, markets in the old walled city and residential colonies remained closed. Private schools had declared a holiday and most government schools were shut after 11 am. Trains were crowded as buses and tempos remained off roads.
Hundreds of protesters with majority being women marched to the main bus stand carrying pictures of liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda. They raised slogans against the Doda family, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and the police.
Women smashed pitchers on the road in protest and then sat on dharna for two hours outside the main bus stand. They demanded Doda’s arrest and a CBI inquiry into the incident. AAP activists too joined the protest.
Meanwhile, 12 accused were produced in court here, which extended the police custody of Harinder Harry, Gulab Chand and Radhey Shyam by five days. The remand of Vicky Sharma, Vivek Vij, Amarjit Singh, Simran Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sukhjit Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Rajinder was extended by two days for interrogation. Doda’s nephew Amit Doda has already been sent to police remand till December 30.
After being criticised by Congress leaders, the police last night recorded the statements of Bhim Tank’s family. Bhim’s mother Kaushalya Devi and cousin Akaash reportedly told the police that Bhim had been working for the Dodas for the past four years, but quit three months ago as he did not want to break the law. They alleged the Dodas then sent Harpreet Harry to warn Bhim of dire consequences. She demanded that the accused be hanged.
Fazilka: A large number of Dalits protested at Valmiki Chowk and blocked traffic at Sanjeev Cinema Chowk on the Fazilka-Abohar highway to protest the Abohar murder. Avtar Singh Karimpuri, BSP state chief, former Congress MLA Mohinder Rinwa and AAP district convener Gurpreet Sandhu also participated in the protest.
Muktsar: Markets remained shut in Gidderbaha town and a large number of people protested in Malout and Muktsar towns on the bandh call of Valmiki Samaj. A large number of policemen were deployed in various parts of the town.
Police list achievements in report
Chandigarh: Though nine of the 24 accused in the murder case of Dalit youth Bhim Tank are at large, the police have listed their achievements in the action-taken report submitted today to the state SC Commission. The Punjab Police gave itself credit for conducting the victim’s cremation peacefully and arresting 15 of the accused. According to the report, submitted to the commission by Inspector General (Crime) Vibhu Raj, the police were leaving no stone unturned to nab the rest of the accused. Those at large are Wazir Singh, Raja, Dawinder, Chhaj, Happy Chauhan, Shiv Lal Doda, Bhim, Dhanraj and Sunny Plado. Wazir Singh, Davinder, alias Pari, and Happy Chauhan are reportedly instrumental in murdering Bhim Tank at Akali leader Shiv Lal Doda’s farmhouse. The report further stated, "Fazilka SSP immediately rushed to the spot and handled the situation. Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ferozpur Range, also reached the spot and pacified the protesters. He got the postmortem of Bhim Tank's body done and facilitated a peaceful cremation."— TNS
‘Set up fast-track court’
Chandigarh: Rajesh Bagha, chairman of the commission, said the commission had demanded that fast-track courts be set up to solve the case speedily. The commission has directed the authorities to complete the investigation in the case at the earliest and without any hindrances. — TNS
Doda seeks bail
Fazilka: The main accused in Dalit youth Bhim Tank’s murder, Shiv Lal Doda, applied for anticipatory bail in Fazilka sessions courts on Tuesday. Doda’s counsel Rahil Birla submitted the application in the court of Fazilka Additional Session Judge Dr Gopal Arora. - OC