Rohtak: Three people were killed and over 100, including 50 policemen, were injured when a clash broke out between two groups and a mob went on a rampage torching several vehicles during a protest over an ashram at Karontha village near Rohtak on Sunday.
The controversy over possession of Satlok Ashram, headed by Rampal at Karontha village, 10 km from Rohtak, on Sunday took a violent turn when policemen tried to stop protesting members from Arya Pratinidhi Sabha (APS) from marching towards the ashram. Although a large number of police personnel were deployed
around the ashram to avert any untoward incident, they failed to stop about hundred protesters from destroying public property and reaching close to the Ashram premises, where the supporters of Rampal had also gathered.
The agitators torched four government vehicles, including three buses of Haryana Roadways and an ambulance, and some motorcycles near the ashram on the Rohtak-Jhajjar road. The mob also smashed window panes of several other vehicles. Three people, including a woman, were killed and about 112 others, including 50 policemen, were injured in the violent clash between the two groups, police said.
The injured have been admitted to PGIMS Rohtak hospital where condition of three is stated to be critical. Two of the deceased have been identified as Promila of Karotha village and Sandeep of Panipat, PGIMS Rohtak PRO said. Rohtak Tehsildar Pramod Chahal also sustained injuries in the clash.
Tension had been brewing in the area over the ashram as Arya Samajis claim that the ownership of the area is illegal and its presence is affecting peace in the region. The ashram followers had filed a petition before court which in its judgement had ordered to maintain a status quo and asked the authorities to provide safety and security to the dera followers.
The Arya Samajis and villagers in a meeting held recently had announced that they would oppose the functioning of the ashram at the present spot and had threatened that they would "fight a decisive battle" against the Ashram on May 12. They had stated that a state-level meeting would be held at Karontha village in protest against the ashram. When a large number of people today assembled in the village as per the programme and moved towards the ashram, the violence broke out. Situation was tense but under control around the Ashram till the filing of the news. A large number of police personnel were deputed around the Ashram to avert any untoward incident.
(With additional information from PTI)