Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, May 26
Hours after his arrest for violating the Covid-19 lockdown norms, Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was released from the police station.
While the police maintained that Khaira and his supporters were released on bail, the MLA claimed that he refused to sign on the bail bond.
“I refused to sign the bail bond even though the police was asking me to do so,” Khaira told The Tribune. “Some of them who accompanied me have signed some papers but I didn’t sign any bail bond. I am now heading back to my village,” he added.
Rashpal Singh, SHO of police station number 4, said, “Everyone has been released after signing a bail bond.”
Khaira was detained by the Jalandhar police while he was at the Desh Bhagat Yadhgaar Hall to hold a candle march in support of kabaddi player Arvinderjit Singh Pehalwan in Jalandhar on Monday. The march was being held to “demand justice for Arvinder Pehalwan killed by police”.
An FIR was filed against 30 people under Section 188 of the IPC and 31(2) of Disaster Management Act and 3(2) of Epidemic Disease Act for organising candle march without prior permission. Messages had also been sent out on WhatsApp seeking support for the march.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Gurmeet Singh said the MLA or any other person had neither applied for any permission nor they were allowed to hold such a gathering.
His detention comes hours after he held a press conference at Jalandhar demanding a CBI enquiry into “politician-drug-liquor mafia nexus damaging the youth of Punjab”.
He sought enquiry into revelations made by a recent ‘chitta’ peddler arrested at Kapurthala, alleging that he was close to a senior Congress leader.
During the press conference, Khaira also alleged that the murder of kabaddi player Arvinder Pehalwan was also connected to the illegal liquor sale mafia.
Earlier in the day, he also sent across messages stating, “I’m surprised that despite assuring Jalandhar administration that we’ll maintain proper social distancing norms, the government is hell bent not to allow peaceful candle light march at Desh Bhagat Yadgaar hall at 5 pm. This amounts to gagging our voice to speak against police brutality. I request you to please be present at 5 pm to highlight the dictatorial attitude of the police.”
Khaira earlier said, “I was holding a peaceful march along with 15 to 20 of my supporters within norms. We have been brought to the police station number 4.”
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