Thursday, November 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Badal courts arrest, let off
Tribune Reporters

Muktsar, November 27
The SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, courted arrest here today as part of his party’s “jail bharo andolan” in protest against the Congress government, even as the agitation passed off peacefully in various parts of the state.

Snacks and tea for Badal

A government spokesman said in Muktsar, at Mr Badal’s repeated insistence that he should be detained, he and a retinue of nine persons, including two domestic servants, were offered seats in the Deputy Commissioner’s office there and given tea and snacks. Mr Badal left the DC’s office at 5 pm.

Mr Badal was released in the evening, as were all other activists in various parts of the state.

Earlier, Mr Badal, riding on an open jeep along with Mr Sukhbir Badal, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal and other senior leaders of the party, led a procession of at least 6,000 persons which started from the local Tutti Gandi Sahib Gurdwara towards the office of the Deputy Commissioner for courting arrest.

Mr Badal along with some party workers, entered the office of Deputy Commissioner Usha R. Sharma, where the SSP, Mr Major Singh Dhillon was also sitting. Mr Badal said if he, along with party workers, were not arrested, the state government would be responsible for any ugly situation.

Mr Badal said people had come with the determination of filling all jails in the state to lodge their protest against the fraud committed with them by the Capt Amarinder Singh government and hence they would not go back without getting themselves arrested.

Ms Sharma said as Mr Badal had breached Section 144 of the CrPC so he along with nine others had been arrested but later freed.

Earlier, Mr Badal, addressing a press conference before proceeding towards the district administration complex, claimed that with Capt Amarinder Singh at the helm of affairs, Punjab was heading for a dark future. He added that the Congress had started facing factionalism and a large section of Congress MLAs were agitating over Capt Amarinder Singh’s style of functioning.

Senior Akali leader and ex-minister Rattan Singh Ajnala and Ranjit Singh Brahampura shout slogans
Senior Akali leader and ex-minister Rattan Singh Ajnala and Ranjit Singh Brahampura shout slogans against Punjab government policies in Amritsar on Wednesday.
— Photo Rajiv Sharma

AMRITSAR: The “jail bharo andolan” of the SAD passed off peacefully on Wednesday. However, despite various police nakas, hundreds of Akali workers assembled at the border town of Patti and the district courts in Amritsar and raised slogans against the Punjab Government.

Earlier, the police virtually sealed the house of Mr Surinder Singh Kairon, a former Congress MP and a close relative of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at Patti. Mr Virsa Singh Valtoha, a senior Akali leader, said at least 5,000 Akali workers assembled at Patti under the leadership of Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, an Akali MLA.

According to an official press note issued here, no arrests were made in connection with the “andolan”.

GURDASPUR: In spite of police deployment at all entry routes to the city, at least 300 SAD workers managed to reach Gurdwara Singh Sabha here on Wednesday. Subsequently, the workers marched in procession towards the district courts under the leadership of Mr Kartar Singh Pahra, a former MLA, but were prevented from reaching there by the police.

The police made the workers to board buses arranged by the district administration. The SAD workers were taken to a poultry farm.

Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, member, SAD political affairs committee, who led the workers, was stopped along with his contingent near Kahnuwan Chowk. Mr Kahlon and others sat in dharna for half-an-hour to force police to arrest them.

The police whisked him away in a jeep and arrested his supporters.

Mr Sewa Singh Seikhwan, a former Revenue Minister and member of the SAD PAC, was picked up before he could reach here. At least 100 Akali workers were rounded up near the Sathiali bridge and taken to an undisclosed destination.

ROPAR: At least 400 SAD workers, including women, and BJP activists, were on Wednesday rounded up by the police while they were on their way to court arrest and taken to the nearby Hawks stadium.

The Akali workers were led by Ms Satwant Kaur Sandhu, SAD MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, and Mr Pritam Singh Sallomajra, district president of the SAD.

Earlier, the SAD workers and leaders performed ardas at Gurdwara Singh Sabha here before proceeding to court arrest towards the district administrative complex. The Akali workers were stopped by the police about 100 yards from the gurdwara. The SAD workers protested and sat on the road, raising slogans against the Punjab Government. Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, SP, pacified them and asked them to sit in the vehicles arranged for them.

Later, Mr Grewal said the SAD workers and leaders had been rounded up as a precautionary measure.

JALANDHAR: The “jail bharo andolan” of the SAD against the policies of the Congress government failed to evoke much response here on Wednesday. At least 300 Akali workers and leaders assembled outside the gurdwara in Model Town to take out a procession towards the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The procession concluded at the DC’s office, where Akali leaders addressed a rally for about two hours before dispersing. None of the Akali workers was arrested by the police.

A contingent of 150 workers from Phagwara, led by a former minister, Mr Swarana Ram, turned back near Chaheru village on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road after it came to know that the rally at Jalandhar was already over. The workers sat in dharna on the GT Road for about half-an-hour and later returned to Phagwara by vehicles arranged by the Jalandhar police.

BATHINDA: Thousands of SAD activists offered to court arrest on Wednesday at the office of Deputy Commissioner. However, the authorites said nobody was arrested.

Former MLAs and ministers, besides sitting MLAs, were present at Gurdwara Haziratan where the activists assembled before marching towards the DC’s office.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg and Mr Sikander Singh, both former Punjab ministers, Mr Gura Singh Tungwali and Mr Jagdeep Singh Nakai, both MLAs, and Mr Makhan Singh, a former MLA, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, Municipal Council president, brought workers from their respective areas. Mr Garg claimed that he, along with other leaders, were arrested but later released.

MANSA: Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, a senior Akali leader and general secretary of the SAD, led more than 5,000 Akali workers who proceeded towards the office of the Deputy Commissioner here on Wednesday for courting arrest. The agitators were not allowed to go near the office and barricades were erected to prevent them from reaching the district administrative complex. No arrests were made by the district administration.

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Hundreds of Akali and BJP workers, led by Mr Didar Singh Bhatti, SAD candidate from Sirhind, and Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, district president, Youth Akali Dal, presented themselves for arrest but the district administration and the police did not do so.

Earlier, the Akali workers gathered at Mata Gujri Niwas in Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

Later, they marched towards the district administrative complex, raising slogans against the government. Their entry into the complex was not objected to and the workers sat there for hours till late in the evening.

Mr Didar Singh Bhatti said as the police had failed to arrest them, they had decided to disperse after a peaceful protest.

Mr B. Chandra Sekhar, SSP, said no Akali leader or worker had been arrested.

KHANNA: Akali workers were stopped at various places by the police while they were going to Ludhiana to join the “andolan”. They were taken to Government Primary Middle School, Bija.

Earlier, Akali workers gathered at Gurdwara Manji Sahib Kotan under the leadership of Mr Daya Singh, district president of the SAD, and Bibi Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, a former MP. At least 500 workers left the area to join the “andolan”.

HOSHIARPUR: At least 2,000 SAD workers, led by Mr Virinder Singh Bajwa, district unit president SAD, Mr Sohan Singh Thandal, Mr Des Raj Dhugga, Mr Balbir Singh Miani, all MLAs, Bibi Mohinder Kaur Josh, a former state minister, and Ms Vinod Chadda, president, SAD women’s wing took out a procession to the Deputy Commissioner’s office to get themselves arrested here on Wednesday.

They first staged a dharna in front of the district courts and blocked traffic there. Later, they staged a rally in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and raised slogans against the Punjab Government for about an hour. The workers dispersed as the district administration did not make any arrest.

FARIDKOT: The “jail bharo andolan” passed off peacefully here on Wednesday. More than 2,000 activists of the party, led by Mr Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and Mr Mantar Singh Brar, both MLAs, presented them for court arrest at the local mini-secretariat. The police rounded them up and later released them.

PATIALA: Akalis made a moderate impact in the home town of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as over 600 SAD workers were rounded up in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and then let off after being kept in the courtyard of the new district complex.

Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary and a former Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, claimed that the police did not allow Akali workers to enter the city, with nakas being laid at all entry points. He gave the example of the difficulty faced by former minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur in entering the city and the rounding-up of Shatrana legislator Nirmal Singh near Samana.

A press note issued by district police chief Paramraj Singh Umranangal said at least 250 persons had converged on the Dukhniwaran gurdwara in the morning, from where they marched to the Deputy Commissioner’s office. The note said the Akalis then marched to the new district complex from the DC’s office, where they had “langar” and dispersed in the evening.

Along with Capt Kanwaljit Singh, party workers and leaders, including SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, Samana legislator Surjit Singh Rakhra, former ministers Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur and Raja Narinder Singh, district SAD president Kashmir Singh Mavi and Devigarh Akali leader Amarjot Singh Punia were rounded up and taken to the district complex.

LUDHIANA: While the administration denied that any arrests had been made in the city, more than 2,000 workers were held in four notified temporary jails for over seven hours in the Kum Kalan area. They were let off late in the evening.

The protesters alleged that they were herded like cattle, ill-treated and illegally detained as no one was officially arrested. The workers even resisted the administration’s release orders at several places, saying that they had courted arrest and thus should be officially arrested.

According to sources, the rounded-up persons were detained at the Government Primary School Boothgarh, Government Senior Secondary School, Kumkalan, Government High School, Bhagpura, and Government Senior Secondary School, Mangat.

FEROZEPORE: The “andolan’ evoked a lukewarm response in the districts of Ferozepore and Moga.

Reports from Moga said at least 2,500 supporters of the SAD, including four sitting MLAs, gathered outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in the morning and raised slogans against the government. But in the afternoon, people started leaving. By the evening, when the whole gathering dispersed, there were hardly 2000 SAD supporters left. Reports said at least 2,500 SAD supporters gathered at Ferozepore.

KAPURTHALA: More than 2,000 Akali workers from Kapurthala, Bholath, Phagwara and Sultanpur Lodhi marched in procession from the local state gurdwara to the district courts complex for courting arrest.

The Akali workers sat in dharna in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma. They asked the district administration to arrest them but the police did not make any arrest.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, former President of the SGPC, her daughter Ranjit Kaur, Ms Upinderjit Kaur, former Akali Minister, Mr Raghbir Singh, former Transport Minister, and Mr Jarnail Singh Wahad, former member, SSSB, among those who sat in dharna and offered to court arrest.

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