RLD, BKU workers protest, want memorial to Charan Singh

Ghaziabad/New Delhi : About 200 farmers and policemen were injured in clashes when a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) protest turned violent at Murad Nagar town of Ghaziabad district Thursday.

Workers of both the organisations were protesting the snapping of water and power supply to the Tughlak Road residence of former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh to force him to leave the government bungalow. Ajit Singh lost the recent Lok Sabha elections.

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The demonstrators blocked traffic on National Highway No.58 and tried to disrupt the water supply to the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant in Delhi, forcing the police to use water cannons and batons to disperse the crowd.

Vijay Nagar police station chief Arun Kumar Singh sustained critical injuries in the clash with demonstrators and was rushed to the hospital while RLD leader Veer Pal Singh suffered bullet injury and has been admitted to the Suvidaya Hospital.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police K. Satyanarayan has started negotiating with the farmer leaders, Rakesh Tikait of BKU and Tejpal Singh, to secure end of the protest.

The Tughlak Road bungalow is where the late Chaudhary Charan Singh resided during his tenure as the prime minister and finance minister. Later, Ajit Singh, his son, stayed in the bungalow.

The RLD workers said the bungalow should be declared as the Chaudhary Charan Singh Memorial Centre like other government bungalows of Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Kanshi Ram and Jagjivan Ram.

Party leader Jayant Chaudhary too supported the demand.

“A memorial should be built here in the memory of Chaudhary sahab. This is the only bungalow (VIP) in Delhi which has an open door policy and anyone can enter here. We don’t want this bungalow for our personal use but let this property develop for the public,” Chaudhary told a news channel.

On the violent protests, Chaudhary said it was not the RLD workers but people who were “emotionally attached” to the bungalow who staged demonstrations and warned the government to quickly decide on the matter.

“Let the government come out and say that they don’t want a memorial or that they are in favour of it. But say something,” he said.

Ajit Singh too voiced the same opinion.

“It’s the emotions of the people. As my father lived here, they are attached to the house and are very angry. This is an emotional issue for them,” said Singh.

“Why doesn’t the government make a memorial here,” said Ajit Singh when asked a solution to end the clashes.