Ludhiana: Congress workers camping in Ashu’s support removed


Police on Saturday finally managed to remove Congress workers from the zila parishad building, opposite the vigilance bureau office, where they had been camping in support of former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.

The former legislator is currently in vigilance custody for his alleged involvement in the 2000-crore food grains transportation tenders scam. In the evening, the tents which had been set up by the workers were removed.

High drama was witnessed earlier in the day as police attempted to remove the workers from the site, citing imposition of Sector 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure in the city, which bans assembly of five or more people. But, the workers resisted, and stated that they are not protesting, but have only gathered there with the zila parishad chairman’s permission.

Police reached the site after dismissed deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Balwinder Singh Sekhon, who had filed the complaint with VB officials against Ashu in the alleged scam, and other former cops, filed a complaint with police commissioner Kaustubh Sharma against Congress workers. Sekhon stated that the workers are disobeying provisions under Sector 144.

He added that police have not yet lodged an FIR against member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu for obstructing vigilance officers from carrying out their duty when they had gone to arrest Ashu earlier this week. The MP had also addressed vigilance officials as “thieves” and the entire argument has been captured on CCTV cameras.

Deputy commissioner of police (investigation) Varinder Singh Brar said that the police commissioner has already marked a probe in the matter and they will surely take necessary action.

Punjab Congress president Raja Warring said they are not staging a protest or blocking any road and had gathered at the zila parishad office only to support Ashu. He alleged that the vigilance bureau officials are sending Sekhon and other people to defame Congress, as they have not found any evidence implicating Ashu.

Congress hampering our investigations: Vigilance tells court

During the hearing of the case in court, where Ashu had been produced, vigilance officials told the court of duty magistrate Arti Sharma that the Congress workers are creating hurdles in their investigation as no complainant or witnesses are being able to reach their office fearing them. “Even on Thursday, the Congress workers stopped Sekhon when he came to meet us,” a VB official told the court.

The court remanded Ashu to two more days in VB custody.

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