Residents, and local councillor, stage protest against construction of wall; jawans ‘resort to mild lathicharge’
As many as 12 persons, including three police officers, suffered minor injuries in a clash between jawans from an army base in Ulsoor and residents of adjoining Gauthampura and Dheenabandhu Nagar in the early hours of Sunday.
Around midnight on Saturday, the residents, and local councillor Sarala Mohan, had protested against the construction of two walls by the jawans on the right of way of a service road which connects Gouthampura and Deenabandhu Nagar. During the protest, army jawans allegedly resorted to mild caning, injuring some in the process.
A resident of the area said that around 50 jawans from the 515 Base Workshop in Ulsoor had gone to the service road accompanied by labourers carrying cement and bricks. Apart from this, an earthmover had been put to use and soon a wall had been constructed on one side of the service road, blocking their right of way. When they proceeded to construct the second wall, residents started protesting. Following this, the councillor, Ms. Mohan, had tried talking to the jawans, but she was allegedly abused by them.
As police officers rushed to the spot to help control the situation, some of the jawans allegedly resorted to caning, claimed the residents. Three of them, Ulsoor police inspector Mahananda, Jeevan Bima Nagar Police inspector Ashok and a sub-inspector, were injured.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Krishna Bhat, also rushed to the spot well past 2 a.m. and reasoned with the army officials. The construction activity was stopped after the senior officer made it clear that no construction work could be permitted after 9 p.m.
While the residents said that the jawans had covertly carried out the construction work, the army officials claimed that a part of their campus land had been encroached upon due to the construction of the recently laid service road.
Police officers had requested for a land survey to be conducted previously after residents complained. But the survey is yet to be completed.
A defence spokesperson said that one of their jawans too was injured and denied the allegations of the police officers being injured by their men during the incident. The spokesperson stated that according to a court order, they have the authority to evict persons on their land.
The police have booked two cases against the army officials under Section 332 of IPC and Section353. Two senior army officers Col. Vijay Bhakshi and Lt. Col. Vijendra Rao have been named in the FIR. The FIR also mentions Sections 143, 144, 447 and 427.
While one complaint was filed by police inspectors of Ulsoor and JB Nagar police stations, the other complaint was filed by the councillor. Ms. Mohan.