BJP leaders ‘detained’ by protesting farmers in Patiala released after High Court order

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Around a dozen BJP leaders “detained” for nearly 12 hours by protesting farmers at a house in Patiala’s Rajpura were released early Monday following a Punjab and Haryana High Court order, officials said.

Scores of protesting farmers had on Sunday laid siege to a BJP worker’s house where several party leaders including Punjab unit general secretary Subhash Sharma and Patiala incharge Bhupesh Aggarwal were also present.

The BJP leaders petitioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court through their lawyer, saying they were illegally detained by a mob at a house in Rajpura.

The court Sunday night directed the Punjab police to ensure the petitioners are provided a safe exit with adequate security and no harm is caused to them. The court had also asked for a report to be submitted at 2 pm on Monday.

Patiala Deputy Superintendent of Police (Rajpura Rural) Jaswinder Singh said the BJP leaders were taken out of the house around 4 am Monday. Police used mild cane-charge to disperse the protesters.

Earlier, the protesting farmers allegedly disrupted a district-level BJP meeting at Rajpura on Sunday following which the party leaders and workers had gathered at the residence of a party worker.

Punjab BJP general secretary Subhash Sharma who was present among others in the house said the protesters had even disconnected the power supply.

Sharma alleged the protesters damaged the vehicles of some BJP leaders, besides the windscreen of a police van.

He also alleged the protesters hurled bricks at them when they were being taken out of the house by the police.

Sharma said they would be lodging an FIR in this matter.

On their part, the farmers alleged the BJP workers used inappropriate language against the protesters and a security personnel of BJP leader Bhupesh Aggarwal allegedly brandished a pistol at them. They were demanding an apology from the BJP for the same.

Earlier, on Sunday, a group of farmers, protesting against the Centre’s new agri-marketing laws, had chased away local BJP leader Shanti Sapra and allegedly manhandled him as they held a protest against the party’s district level meeting at Rajpura.

Later, the BJP’s general secretary Subhash Sharma had rushed to Patiala to enquire about leaders and other workers who faced the wrath of protesters.

A large number of farmers then had reached the house where Sharma and others were present and laid siege.

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