Memorial trust chief condemns police action at Jallianwala Bagh

February 14th, 2009 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Amritsar (Punjab), Feb 14 (IANS) Two days after the police baton charged students protesting against the modernisation work at the historic Jallianwala Bagh in Sikh holy city Amritsar, Bihar Governor R.L. Bhatia Saturday visited the site and condemned the police brutality.

“R.L. Bhatia visited Jallianwala Bagh and held a meeting with the officials of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust. He was deeply hurt by Thursday’s episode and strongly condemned it,” said S.K. Mukherjee, secretary of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust here Saturday.

Bhatia, who heads the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust, was elected MP six times from Amritsar, around 250 km from state capital, Chandigarh.

“He had assured overall development and completion of renovation work at Jallianwala Bagh before April 13. A ban has been imposed on any kind of political functions or mass gathering in the Jallianwala Bagh while important government functions can be held here as usual,” said Mukherjee.

Meanwhile after the Thursday’s incident, heavy police force have been deployed in and around Jallianwala Bagh and security arrangements have been beefed up in the area.

Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Balbir Punj, who also visited Jallianwala Bagh Saturday, supported the police action and said that it was necessary to prevent vandalism and hooliganism.

The police baton charged the peaceful protesters Thursday and even chased the protesting students right up to the Golden Temple complex, which houses the holiest Sikh shrine, Harmandir Sahib.

The action against the students came after they dismantled one of the new structures being put up at the Jallianwala Bagh. The students claimed that the Bagh’s history and records were being tampered with in the name of modernisation of the place.

The shrine is nearly 500 metres from Jallianwala Bagh which witnessed the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Indians, including women and children, by British soldiers who fired indiscriminately at people who had gathered for a freedom protest at the venue April 13, 1919.

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