Curfew continues in Gurdaspur, Badal orders probe

Curfew continues in Gurdaspur, Badal orders probe

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Friday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the violence in Gurdaspur, where curfew continued after a youth was killed in police firing following a clash over the fate of Balwant Singh Rajoana, on death row for the 1995 assassination of then chief minister Beant Singh.

Curfew had been imposed in Gurdaspur, 210 km from here, following the violence Thursday.

A district administration official said curfew would continue Friday and may be relaxed only later in the day.

A spokesperson in the chief minister's office said Badal had directed the Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Mohinder Singh Kainth to get the magisterial inquiry conducted at the earliest.

The inquiry will be conducted by Gurdaspur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Tajinder Pal Singh Sandhu.

Badal also appealed to people to exercise restraint and maintain peace, communal harmony and amity.

Jaspal Singh, 18, was killed in Gurdaspur town in the firing by police Thursday. Another person was shot in the chest.

The clash between two groups, one from the Shiv Sena and another involving local Sikh organisations, took place in the presence of police over the hanging of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist, whose death sentence was stayed by the central government Wednesday.

Police sources said Shiv Sena members wanted to burn an effigy of Rajoana but the other group objected, triggering a clash. Police intervened with canes and then fired in the air. It also opened fire at the mob, resulting in the death of the teenager, police said.
Punjab's Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) S.K. Sharma said that police had to resort to firing as the mob clash became violent.