The Congress party and the district police are locked in a tussle over cancellation of first information report (FIR) registered against Sikh protesters who created a ruckus at the State Gurdwara here on October 23. The police had arrested 19 protesters who are still in prison.
The party is in favour of withdrawal of the police case while the district police are still adamant on their decision of initiating action against the protesters.
The Congress, led by Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema and party spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira have warned the police to either release the protesters and dismiss the FIR or prepare for a face-off with the party.
The party has announced a massive protest outside the office of the senior superintendent of police (SSP) here on Friday at 11am to pressurize the district police to cancel the case registered against Sikh protestors and release them.
Kapurthala police had arrested 19 Sikh protesters on October 23, who had tried to attack the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, including Bholath MLA Bibi Jagir Kaur, former minister Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, SAD district president Jarnail Singh Wahid, SGPC member Gurpreet Kaur, SGPC member Sarwan Singh Kullar and district planning committee chairman Sarabjit Singh Makkar, present in the gurdwara and attending the bhog ceremony of akhand paath at that time.
The ‘akhand path’ was organised by the SAD to pray for peace and harmony in the state in the backdrop of the incidents of desecration of the ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib at several places in the state.
When contacted, Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the district police were functioning under the pressure of Akali leaders and took an unconstitutional step and booked protesters on charges of attempt to murder under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for merely opposing the Akali leaders at the State Gurdwara.
“How could the police register a case under section 307 of the IPC even as no Akali leader had suffered even a minor injury and there was no medico-legal report in the said case,” Khaira questioned.
He said the case had been slapped vindictively against the Sikh youth in order to intimidate the people of Punjab and scare them into not protesting against the draconian Akali leadership.
Navtej Singh Cheema said the police had deliberately registered a false case against the innocent Sikh protesters, who were only expressing their spontaneous anger against the ruling government.
“We will not let the police commit injustice against innocent protesters. The police have buckled under the pressure of SAD-led government and we will demand the release of protesters by holding a massive protest on Friday,” he added.
SSP Rajinder Singh said the police had formed a special investigation team (SIT) after the incident of ruckus in the gurdwara and investigation will be done in a fair manner.