Workers of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) protested against local legislator Gopal Kanda, accused of abetting his former employee's suicide, at his palatial mansion here on Wednesday. Timely intervention of the police averted a direct clash between the supporters of Kanda and INLD workers.
Led by the INLD's youth leader Lila Dhar Saini and accompanied by a number of people from the Saini community, the protesters allegedly wanted to take possession of Kanda's house and the adjoining Tara Baba Memorial Trust buildings on Rania Road. Their specific peeve was that Kanda and his family had tarnished the image of saint Tara Baba, who belonged to the Saini community. They said the Kanda brothers had always used the name of Tara Baba for their selfish interests.
However, Kanda's supporters Krishan Saini and Babbu Saini said, "The INLD had previously attempted to encroach upon the prime land of the Kamboj community during its regime, and now, seeing the Kanda brothers in trouble, they want to usurp their property."
They added, "The INLD supremo (Om Prakash Chautala) had made his intentions clear when he had said, 'Kanda may have built house, but that doesn't guarantee who would enjoy the comforts at this palatial house'."
A clash was averted as a team led by deputy superintendent of police Satbir Sheoran and city station house officer Vikram Nehra reached the spot and barred the entry of INLD workers into the buildings. But INLD workers tore the posters and banners that carried photos of Kanda brothers from the gates of the Tara Baba Memorial Trust building.
Old-timers say Tara Baba was more popular among the Saini community, but after Gopal Kanda rose to becoming a business tycoon and attained a ministerial berth after wining the assembly polls as an Independent, he virtually overtook the memorial trust.
Several social organisations of Sirsa, meanwhile, criticised the political parties for making a religious place a platform for revenge against each other.