Youth Congress members encircle Nirmal Singh’s residence

Jammu: Over 50 members of Youth Congress encircled the official residence of Jammu and Kashmir Deputy CM Nirmal Singh on Wednesday and climbed its gate, in what may well be termed a security lapse.

Led by state Congress president Pranav Shagotra, the members were protesting against the non-declaration of holiday on the birth anniversary of Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh and the “brutal lathicharge” on Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students.

The protesters of Youth Congress had already announced their intention to gherao Nirmal Singh’s residence and in view of the plan police were deployed outside Singh’s residence.

The members of Youth Congress gathered in front of the Circuit House at Canal road at 11.30 am, shouting slogans against the minister and the BJP and started banging the door of Singh’s residence, before police personnel could respond to the situation, some managed to climb the gate.

Policemen tried to push away the protesters, who later held a sit-in on the road outside.

Carrying placards and banners, the protesters then blocked vehicular movement on Talab Tillo road.

A scuffle ensued between the protestors and the policemen, who were deployed in large numbers.

“Non-declaration of holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh and the ‘criminal silence’ of the BJP ministers have fully exposed the ruling alliance which has defied the popular sentiment of Jammu, to appease separatists and forces inimical to the nation,” Shagotra said.

The Congress leader said the BJP-PDP coalition in the state was ostensibly endorsing the “separatist agenda” and the BJP ministers were party to it.

Shagotra also hit out at the NDA-led Centre for the brutal lathicharge on female students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

“On one hand, the BJP is giving slogans of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, on the other hand, the central government is treating female students as criminals,” he said.

The Congress leader added that gagging dissent has become a routine affair after formation of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

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