BSP leaders arrested for staging dharna

Phagwara: Several BSP leaders were today arrested for staging dharna against the alleged non-implementation of Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme by some private colleges in Punjab.

Following the arrests, BSP activists along with radical Sikh groups and SC girl students of colleges organised a dharna and blocked Phagwara-Nakodar road near National Highway 1.

Former Punjab BSP General Secretary Jarnail Nangal along with president of local unit of BSP Student Front Pardeep Mall, party activists Rajinder Kler and Balbir Singh Thakur, and President of Punjab Ambedkar Sena Mool Nivasi Harbhajan Suman were arrested this morning under Sections 107/151 (threat to public order and peace) of CrPc, police said.

The party leaders were presented in the court of Sub-divisional Magistrate Balbir Raj Singh, who sent them into judicial custody, police said, adding Mall was released on bail today.

Separate cases under Sections 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation), 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) of IPC and Sections 3/4 of Pollution Control Act were also registered against these leaders, police said.

Jarnail Nangal had spearheaded the agitation over the non-implementation of Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme by organizing a demonstration and a dharna outside residence of local MLA Som Parkash here yesterday. He had threatened to intensify the stir if the scheme was not implemented in totality and SC/BC/OBC students were not issued roll numbers today, or were harassed under the garb of the scheme.

A number of BSP activists, led by party's Block Samiti member Sukhwinder Singh Shergill and supported by radical Sikh groups, took out a protest march after his arrest. They first staged a brief demonstration outside the office of SP Ashwani Kumar in local Town Hall and then sat on dharna, blocking traffic on the Phagwara-Nakodar road near National Highway 1.

However, the international Sada-e-Sarhad Buses, plying between India and Pakistan, passed here normally as the traffic on NH1 continued to flow as usual, police said.

Meanwhile, another group of party activists blocked traffic on local Hoshiarpur road. Police diverted traffic on the two sites of the blockade.

A deputation of BSP leaders, including its former state General Secretary Sukhwinder Kotli, left for Kapurthala to meet Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rajinder Singh.

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