Protesters lathicharged; Chief Minister forced to leave PAU campus

Ludhiana: Students of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Thursday prevented Chief Minister Amarinder Singh from delivering a speech at the inauguration of the Kisan Mela on the university campus here.

The agitated students and unemployed veterinary doctors forced the Chief Minister to leave the campus as they blocked his way towards the stage and raised anti-Government slogans, demanding jobs and filling up of vacancies in various departments of the State.

They were lathi-charged and then dragged away, while some of the girls received minor injuries during the scuffle with the cops.

The Chief Minister, who later dubbed the agitation as a ``drama'', was taken to the PAU rest house by the university Vice-Chancellor K. S. Aulakh. He returned to the venue an hour later to address the gathering.

Justifying the police action, the Chief Minister told reporters that he had already assured the veterinary doctors that the Government would soon fill up 482 vacancies in the Animal Husbandry department.

``When I had already assured them to fill the vacancies, there was no need for them to do this drama today,'' Capt Singh said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has strongly condemned the police action. UNI