Manpreet Singh Badal, former finance minister and president of the Peoples Party of Punjab, Abhay Sandhu and Bharat Bhushan Thapar, nephews of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, respectively, and 400 supporters were arrested by the Chandigarh police while they were on their way to organize a solidarity protest in support of Anna Hazare and Jan Lokpal Bill at sector 17, on Sunday.
Apprehending that the solidarity show might turn into a violent protest, the Chandigarh administration had already invoked section 144 across sector 17 for one day, on Saturday.
However, leaving no stone unturned to showcase non violent nature of the protest, the PPP workers, earlier in the morning, had peacefully started gathering at the party office in sector 3.
Carrying portraits of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Anna Hazare, they preferred not to march on the main city’s roads and were walking on the cycle tracks, otherwise meant for the pedestrians and bicycles, when they were arrested.
Addressing the media while being arrested, Manpreet said that it was unfortunate that despite the commitment made to Anna Hazare, the government was now going back on its protest to pass Jan Lokpal Bill.
"We appeal to the government to implement the Jan Lokpal bill in its true spirit," added Badal.
Adding another dimension to the issue Manpreet said that a chair of deputy Lokpal or Lokayukta, an independent anti corruption official representing the Lokpal at the district level, should be established. Manpreet said his party was also in favor of the state police vigilance, which, instead of chief minister or home minister, would report directly to the Lokpal.