Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Kulbir Singh Barapind was arrested in the wee hours of Thursday by the Nawanshahr police, which claimed it to be a preventive arrest in the wake of NDA's bandh call.
Sources said that cops from Nawanshahr reached Barapind's village around 2 am, woke him up and arrested him. Barapind, who is former terrorist but stands acquitted in all the cases lodged against him, was produced in a court in the morning, which sent him in judicial custody till September 25.
Former SAD (Panch Pardhani) president Daljit Singh Bittu too was taken into preventive custody, sources added. Both Barapind and Bittu were taken to Ludhiana jail.
When contacted, superintendent of police (detective) of rural police Rajinder Singh confirmed the development. "As far as Jalandhar police is concerned, nobody before, during or after the bandh was arrested," the SP said.
Nawanshahr SP (HQ) Dharam Singh Uppal confirmed the arrest of Barapind and admitted that he was picked up in the wee hours.
Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa has condemned the arrest of Sikh leaders. "What is the logic behind arresting Bittu and Barapind, who had nothing to do with the bandh call. They did not appeal the people to observe bandh?" spokesman of Dal Khalsa Kanwarpal Singh said.
"If state government was really worried about the law and order during the bandh, the police should have arrested SAD-BJP workers," he quipped.