Army jawans, public clash in Ulsoor

Three police officers injured in the midnight melee over land row

Army jawans, public clash in Ulsoor

Army jawans from the 515 Base Workshop in Ulsoor clashed with civilians of Goutampura and Deenabandhu Nagar, when they objected to the jawans building two walls blocking the right of way of a newly constructed service road Saturday midnight.

The public who protested the jawan’s action were allegedly caned by the jawans in the presence of the local police. Two police inspectors were also injured when they tried to intervene on behalf of the public.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) T G Krishna Bhat said that the police have registered two cases against the Army officials, Col Vijay Bhakshi and Lt Col Vijendra Rao. The first complaint was filed by police inspectors Mahananda of Ulsoor station and Ashok of JB Nagar station for obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty and causing voluntary hurt.

The other complaint was lodged by Sarala Mohan, the local corporator, who was allegedly abused and assaulted by the army troops.

A dispute over 3.5 metre ‘right of way’ service road, which the Army men allege was carved out of their campus by encroaching on their land, triggered the clash.

Senior cops had brokered peace between the troops and the public in the area and had sought a detailed survey of the land to resolve the dispute.

Midnight drama

Even before the survey commenced, armed with hollow bricks and earth moving equipment, around 50 jawans and labourers came to the disputed service road Saturday midnight.

Jyothi, a senior citizen who lives next to the campus, told Deccan Herald that within no time the jawans constructed a four-foot-tall wall blocking the newly-built service road.

As the jawans finished building a wall on one side of the road and started building another wall to block the ‘right of way,’ residents of the area gathered in large numbers, protesting the construction.

Sarala Mohan, the local corporator, said that when she tried to reason with the jawans, they abused her and even assaulted her. The jawans charged at the public with lathis injuring some of them, claimed the local residents. Inspectors Mahananda and Ashok and a sub-inspector were injured when they intervened.

Officials invited for talks

Around 2.30 am Krishna Bhat reached the spot. He said that he announced over the megaphone that he was the DCP of the area and that senior officials of the army should come out, talk to him and resolve the dispute.

The construction work came to a halt and tension was eased only after Bhat warned that no one can carry out any construction activity after 9 pm as per the law.

When contacted, a defence spokesperson said: “The claims that police officers were injured by our personnel is not correct. In fact, one of our jawans was injured by miscreants while he was performing his legitimate duty. We have a court order authorising us to evict people from the said land and, we were only performing our duty. If the police are claiming that their officers are injured, it must be checked with them who caused the injuries. For, they were on our side and there is no question of us having armed anyone.”

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