MLA Sukhpal Khaira arrested for violating lockdown norms in Jalandhar

Was holding candle light march to demand justice for kabaddi player

MLA Sukhpal Khaira arrested for violating lockdown norms in Jalandhar

Sukhpal Khaira. File photo

Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, May 25  

Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was detained on Monday 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.

The march was being held today to “demand justice for Arvinder Pehalwan killed by police”.

30 persons, including Khaira, were booked 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.

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.”

Speaking to The Tribune, Khaira 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. Currently we have been detained here.”  

SHO police station number 4 Rashpal Singh said, “30 to 35 people were holding a candle march at the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall in violation of lockdown norms and without any social distancing. No permission had been sought from the police for the same. They can’t hold a march without the permission of the Deputy Commissioner.”  

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