Party workers tried to march from Congress Bhawan to the Punjab Assembly but were stopped by police who resorted to water cannons and cane charge. The protestors were later detained.

"We held protest here against the atrocities against Dalits and poor which have increased manifold during SAD-BJP regime in the state. State government has failed to contain them," chairman of SC wing of Punjab Congress, Raj Kumar Chabbewal said.

He cited the Abohar murder last year in which a Dalit man was brutally murdered. "The family of Bheem Tank whose limbs were chopped off was moving from pillar to post and have not been able to get justice from the Punjab government," he alleged.

Chabbewal also claimed that the state government had failed in distributing funds under the social security schemes to poor and Dalits in the state.

"Poor students are not being given scholarships and their families had to pay fees," he said. On the issue of sharing of river waters, he said only Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh had protected the interest of the state by scrapping water sharing agreements in 2004.

"If (Parkash Singh) Badal government is really concerned about river water, then it should break its alliance with BJP," he cited.

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