Several hurt in clash between Youth Congress workers, police outside HP Assembly

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Shimla | Published: August 24, 2018 10:34:54 PM

Youth Congress workers and the police clashed outside the Himachal Pradesh Assembly today leading to a walkout by the Congress from the House.

The Congress claimed a dozen of their youth workers suffered injuries. In the House, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said three police personnel were injured when the protesters pelted stones.

Youth Congress workers and the police clashed outside the Himachal Pradesh Assembly today leading to a walkout by the Congress from the House.

The Congress claimed a dozen of their youth workers suffered injuries. In the House, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said three police personnel were injured when the protesters pelted stones.

Shimla Superintendent of Police Omapati Jamwal said the exact number of injured persons was being ascertained.

Himachal Pradesh Congress president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, talking to PTI outside the House, said the protesting Youth Congress workers wanted to submit a memorandum on “deteriorating law and order and increasing drug abuse” in the state but “the officials used water cannons and cane-charged them”.

“This is unacceptable in a democratic set up,” he said.

The clash led to a heated exchange of words between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the House after which the latter’s MLAs staged a walkout over the issue.

“If appropriate action is not taken against the responsible officials, the Congress will stall the Assembly proceedings,” Sukhu told PTI outside the House.

He claimed that at least 12 youth Congress workers were injured in police lathicharge.

The BJP government should order an inquiry to hold the officials concerned responsible for the lathicharge, he said.

Earlier, the Youth Congress workers led by their state president Munish Thakur carried out a protest march from Chaura Maidan against “deteriorating law and order situation” and “increasing drug menace” in the state.

According to eyewitnesses, when the protestors reached outside the Assembly, they allegedly pelted stones at police in which at least three personnel, including an Additional SP were injured.

Sukhu claimed that the police used water cannons to disperse the protestors and then lathicharged them.

Following the incident, Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the state Assembly.

The party MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri staged the walk out during a debate on the calling attention motion on loss of life and property in recent floods in the state.

The Himachal Pradesh chief minister informed the House that the Youth Congress workers pelted stones at the police and tried to cross the barricades.

He said at least three policemen, including an Additional Superintendent of Police, was injured in the stone pelting.

Thakur alleged that the Congress leaders sitting in the House “instigated” the youth workers to pelt stones at police.

“They went outside the House, addressed the protesting Youth Congress workers and instigated them,” he said.

When Thakur was speaking in the House over the clash, Congress MLAs, led by Agnihotri, started raising slogans and alleged that the police lathicharged the “peaceful” Youth Congress protesters.

The Congress MLAs staged a walk out while raising slogans over the issue and sat on a dharna on the road outside the Assembly. Later, they ended the dharna on their own.

Responding to a question regarding Thakur’s statement over the issue, Sukhu told PTI the “officers were misleading the chief minister”.

“Neither the Congress MLAs instigated protesting Youth Congress workers nor they pelted stones at policemen,” he said.

“They did not have any stones, they were holding only party flags,” Sukhu added.

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