10 Faridabad cops injured as stones pelted at them by group of youths blocking Delhi-Agra NH

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Chandigarh, Nov 1 (PTI) Ten Faridabad police personnel were injured on Sunday when a group of youths allegedly pelted stones at them and tried to indulge in vandalism after being asked to vacate the Delhi-Agra national highway that they had blocked in Haryana's Ballabhgarh, police said.

Police used mild force to disperse the group and the highway, which was blocked for a few minutes, was then cleared.

The incident took place just around the time a “Mahapanchayat” was being held in nearby Dussehra grounds in Ballabhgarh.

The “Mahapanchayat” was organised by various social organisations to demand justice for 21-year-old college student Nikita, who was shot dead outside her college in Ballabhgarh on Monday allegedly by a man who had been pressuring her to marry him. Three men, including the main accused Tausif, were later arrested in the case.

Police said the group of youths who had also reached close to the site where the “Mahapanchayat” was going on suddenly started gathering at the highway and blocked it.

The protesting youth were demanding capital punishment for the accused involved in Nikita's killing. Some among them later started pelting stones at the police when they were asked not to block the highway.

Police said the organisers of the “Mahapanchayat” told them they did not know who the youths were.

Faridabad Police Commissioner O P Singh told PTI over phone that 10 policemen were injured as stones were hurled at them.

“Thirty of them have been rounded up. The situation was immediately brought under control,” Singh said.

He said during questioning it was found that a majority of the 30 had come from places outside Faridabad district including Gurugram, Mewat, Palwal, Delhi and Noida.

Some of the youths were carrying lathis and stones as well and had come with a 'pre-planned intention to vitiate the atmosphere', police said.

“The intention looked to disturb peace and harmony. We are investigating if there was any conspiracy angle involved,” Singh said.

“The highway was blocked by protesters for a few minutes and the road was cleared soon,” Singh said.

Heavy police force was already deployed in the area in view of the “Mahapanchayat”.

Asked about various protests which have been held by different outfits against Nikita's killings, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was interacting with reporters in Karnal, said, “Everyone has a right to hold protest in a peaceful manner. But no one should take law and order into one's hands… If anyone tries to disturb the law and order situation, he will be dealt strictly as per law”.

Meanwhile, the 'Mahapanchayat' decided to accord “martyr” status to Nikita and sought exemplary punishment for the accused.

“Despite grave pressure put on her by the main accused to marry him and convert to Islam, she outright refused and even sacrificed herself. The 'Sarv Samaj' (mahapanchayat) gave her martyr status.

'Further, the Mahapanchayat decided to organise a “Shradhanjali Sabha” on November 8 in her memory. We have demanded that the case should be tried by a fast track court. The woman's family should be given compensation by the government and provided police security,” a member of the “Mahapanchayat” told reporters in Ballabhgarh.

Nikita, a BCom final-year student, had come out of her college after appearing in an exam on Monday afternoon when she was shot dead outside the place in Ballabhgarh allegedly by the man who had been forcing her to marry him, according to police.

Police have so far arrested three people in connection with the case. Tausif and Rehan were nabbed on Tuesday, while Ajaru was held on Thursday.

A Special Investigation Team has been set up to carry out the probe.

Notably, some Hindu outfits have alleged that the main accused in the case had been putting pressure on the young woman for marriage and had also asked her to convert to Islam.

The woman's family has claimed that Tausif had harassed her two years ago and had compelled her to convert to Islam in order to marry him, which she had refused. PTI SUN VSD HDA