Sukhbir, Harsimrat, Majithia among several Akali leaders detained after Kisan march stopped from entering Chandigarh

All detained SAD leaders taken to Sector 17 police station and released

Tribune News Service
Mohali, October 1

Former Union Minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal along with Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Dera Bassi MLA NK Sharma and Youth Akali Dal president Parambans Singh Bunty Romana were detained by the Chandigarh Police while trying to cross the UT border during a protest again the farm laws.

The police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the SAD workers during which Bhunder fell on the ground.

Harsimrat, who was leading the protest to hand over a memorandum addressed to the President to Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, reached Zirakpur around 8.30 pm. She and other Akali leaders and workers tried to enter Chandigarh, but due to presence of heavy police force, they were stopped at the border.

Before being detained by the police, Harsimrat addressed her supporters stating that they would continue to protest till the Union Government rolled back the agriculture laws passed recently. She claimed her party had not been taken into confidence before introducing the Bills. She said for them, the farmers were uppermost as they produced foodgrains to meet the country’s demand of food. She alleged it had become clear that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was not on the side of the farmers as the rally was allegedly stopped on his directions.

Harsimrat said her party would continue to fight for the rights of the farmers.

Sikander Singh Maluka, former Punjab Minister, said it was sad that despite the SAD workers holding a peaceful protest, the police resorted to lathicharge. He said they would hold a meeting to decide their next course of action.

A large number of SAD protesters raised slogans against the BJP-led NDA government and UT Administration for not allowing them entry. He said SAD was appealing to President Ram Nath Kovind to convene a special session of Parliament to amend the recent farm laws.

Meanwhile, SAD supremo Sukhbir Singh Badal along with his supporters was stopped at the Mullanpur barrier by the police. The police resorted to lathicharge, besides using the water cannon, on Akali workers. The police detained Sukhbir and other Akali leaders Bikram Singh Majithia, Jagir Kaur, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema.

All the detained leaders were taken to the Sector 17 police station and released later.

Earlier in the day, Sukhbir led the ‘Kisan March’ from Amritsar contesting the farm acts enacted by the NDA-led Union government.

The march commenced after Badal paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and the Akal Takht.

Sukhbir told that as per "panthic tradition", the march has been started after taking Guru’s blessings.

Accompanied by senior SAD leadership, including Bikram Singh Majithia, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Gulzar Singh Ranike and other local SAD leaders, the vehicles’ cavalcade took off from Bhandari Bridge and proceeded towards Governor’s House in Chandigarh.

“A memorandum would be submitted to the Punjab Governor urging the Centre government and the President of India to repeal the Farm Act. For the purpose, a special session of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha be called up to roll back ‘kaale kanoon” (black laws) that have been designed to ruin the farming community,” he said.

Snubbing Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik over his claims that SAD leadership was taken into confidence when the three farm bills were tabled in the Parliament and that Sukhbir Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Badal had endorsed them with their signatures, but overnight annulled the ties for the "self- interest", he said, “If it was true, then show our signatures. We were put in the dark. We were never asked and no meeting of Cabinet was held before passing the kaale kanoon.Rather, we had submitted in writing certain clauses that have to be part of the bills. We were falsely assured that these would be incorporated in the bills. That’s why we decided to part ways,” he said.

SAD started to march in farmers’ interest from three Takhts-Akal Takht, (Amritsar), Takht Damdama Sahib (Bathinda) under the leadership of Harsimrat Badal and Takht Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib led by former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra.

Terming it as a mere ‘political drama’ the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee’s state general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said that the SAD had attempted to play the ‘Panthic card’ trying to streamline it dwindling political graph.

“All political parties have scheduled the ‘parallel’ protest march to ours for political gains and even divided dates in such a manner so that they should face no hurdle in acquiring political mileage. What was the purpose of starting off kisan march from religious platforms which have no connection with the agrarian crisis that we have been facing?"

He said that the same Akali Dal used to speak in favour of Centre’s farm bill policies.

“Already cornered by sacrilege incidents and drug menace, when Akal Dal saw the mass agitation from farmers which could root them totally out of their political pitch in the state, they quit the alliance with NDA and Centre ministry to save their skin. But they forget that farmers could not be befooled by these tactics now. Similarly, how could we forget that the Congress was responsible for anti-Sikh moves, be it Operation Blue Star or 84 riots”, he said.

Pandher said that all the political party leaders were the ‘puppets’ of Corporate houses.

“They had enacted drama of opposing the bills by even tearing the copies in the Parliament. Later, they gave up on the pretext that the BJP commanded majority whereas our finding was that they had deliberately resisted their MPs to attend the session as per the directions of the Corporate houses, he said.

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