Punjab BJP chief’s vehicle attacked in Ferozepur

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Ferozepur, Feb 9 (PTI) The vehicle of Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma was allegedly attacked by some unidentified persons with sticks and rods when he came here for a meeting with local party workers on Tuesday.

Sharma’s vehicle was attacked when he was leaving the venue after the meeting, during which some protesters had tried to storm it, forcing the police to use mild cane-charge to disperse them.

Sharma escaped unhurt during the attack on his vehicle, officials said.

While Sharma dubbed assailants as Congress “goons”, some farmers, who had visited the meting venue, said the attack was the handiwork of unidentified miscreants.

After this incident, the Punjab BJP chief and his party workers staged a sit-in outside the residence of the Ferozepur deputy commissioner demanding action against the miscreants.

The BJP workers also blocked the highway for some time.

They lifted the dharna only after the DC assured them of a probe into the matter and action against the miscreants.

Accusing Congress “goons” of masterminding the attack on him, Sharma said farmers were not involved in the incident.

The state BJP chief had come to meet party workers and discuss issues related to the upcoming civic body polls.

Heavy security arrangements were made by the police at Sharma's meeting venue here.

Despite the presence of the police force, farmers belonging to various unions reached the venue and started raising slogans against the BJP.

The farmers also tried to force their way into the venue but the police did not allow them.

The police also used mild cane charge to disperse the protesters, said officials.

As soon as Sharma came out after the meeting, a few unidentified persons allegedly attacked his vehicle with sticks.

Following the attack, the entire convoy moved at a high speed following which the assailants fled from the spot.

Farmer leaders said they had come only to protest against the state BJP chief and not to hurt him.

They said they had come to express their anguish against the BJP leaders only and none of them wanted to hurt him.

“The attackers do not belong to us (farmers) and it seems that the attack was planned by some anti-social elements who wanted to take benefit of the situation,” said farmer union leaders.

Meanwhile, Ashwani Sharma said he had come here to meet the party workers only.

“It seems some few people wanted to take benefit of the situation on the pretext of farmer's agitation,” said Sharma.

Questioning the role of police, Sharma asked the police how did miscreants reach the venue where he was to hold a meeting and said that this was a result of some “conspiracy” involving some police officials.

He said he refused to take police security and demanded a probe into the matter.

Sharma also attacked the Punjab DGP, accusing him of becoming a “puppet” in the hands of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The incident took place a day after Ashwani Sharma cancelled his visit to Nawanshahr after a group of farmers gheraoed the venue where he was supposed to hold a meeting. PTI COR CHS VSD RAX RAX