Ludhiana: At least 35 workers of Akali Dal and Congress were injured when they clashed over a white coloured effigy of demon king Ravana here, police said on Tuesday. The controversy over burning of a Ravana effigy donning white colour turned ugly on Monday night when the supporters of both Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress clashed at a ground near Vardhman Chowk on Chandigarh road.
The Congress party workers had reportedly prepared white effigies as protest against sale of heroin in Punjab and had planned to burn them on Dusshera along with photos of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Traditionally, Ravana effigies are covered with black glaze paper. Deputy leader of the opposition, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who represents Ludhiana West Assembly constituency, said that as many as 12 Congress men were injured in the clash. District Congress Committee President Gurpreet Goggi and Ravinder Gill were seriously injured in the clash and rushed to a nearby hospital, according to Ashu.
According to police, the SAD workers damaged the white Ravana. The workers also allegedly damaged the vehicle of Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu.
A clash broke out between the two sides following which the Congress worker overpowered Youth Akali Dal Malwa Zone president Tersem Singh Bhinder and took him to the residence of the Commissioner of Police Jatinder Singh Aulakh, according to Congress MLA Ashu.
Congress leaders alleged that they staged a dharna outside the commissioner’s residence after the police officials “refused" to register their complaint.The protest continued till the wee hours of Tuesday.
On the other hand, Bhinder alleged that he along with his supporters had visited the police station of the area to lodge a complaint and in the meantime MP Bittu along with his supporters arrived outside the police station.
Bhinder claimed that 25 SAD supporters were injured when they were attacked by Congress men. Bhinder said any attempt to malign the image of the chief minister and the deputy chief minister will not be tolerated by the party men and strong action will be taken to foil the plan of anti-social elements of Congress.
Deputy commissioner of police Dhruman Nimble said nearly 35 persons have been injured in the clash. Police were collecting the medico legal reports and are in the process of registering a case.