The Bains Brothers - Independent MLAs Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains - along with more than a hundred of their supporters, including councillors, were taken into custody when they were going to make a human chain against the sand mafia in the state here on Saturday evening.
The police in the morning had imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, according to which five or more people can't gather or carry a weapon in that particular area.
Though a few Bains supporters were able to create the human chain near Gulmor hotel on Ferozepur Road, the police took them into custody.
They intended to create the human chain from Jagraon Bridge to Sidhwan Canal on Ferozepur Road to create awareness among the locals about the sand mafia. The Bains brothers had already announced to start their "satyagrah" from April 20 against the sand mafia at the banks of the Sutlej where the illegal mining is allegedly undertaken.
Wearing yellow ribbons and caps with the words "Main satyagrahi hun" written on them, hundreds of Bains supporters started gathering along Ferozepur Road in the evening as they claimed that they would create the chain in a peaceful manner.
As a large number of police personnel started taking the supporters into custody, MLA Balwinder Singh Bains said the objective of the human chain was not to create any obstruction in traffic and they just wanted to make people aware of the menace of sand mafia.
He said though the police were arresting them, the state government and the police could not stop their "satyagrah" against the sand mafia, before the police took him away. He alleged that the state government was involved in illegal mining of sand in the state.
The Bains brothers and their supporters were taken to different police stations. Councillors Parminder Soma, Swarandeep Chahal, Gurpreet Singh Khurana, Daljeet Singh Bhola and Randhir Singh Sibia were also taken into custody.
Bhola, who was taken to the Sarabha Nagar police station, claimed that they were going to make the chain in a democratic way but the police arrested them. He alleged that the state ministers were involved in mining. He said they intended to provide free sand to people from the banks of the Sutlej during the "satyagrah" from April 20 and the government wanted to stop them from doing this.
Meanwhile, a large number of Bains supporters, including women, gathered outside the Sarabha Nagar police station, where the police stopped them from going inside. They raised slogans against the state government and the sand mafia. Some supporters who were taken into custody were also heard raising slogans of "Inquilab zindabad" inside the police station.
Assistant commissioner of police Jaswinder Singh said they took the Bains supporters into custody as a preventive measure. Deputy commissioner of police Naveen Singla was not available for comment.