The protests across Faridkot, Kotkapura and Moga are being led by fringe radical groups, most of which are little known. These include members of Parmeshar Dwar Trust, Nirvair Khalsa Jatha, Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj, Akhand Kirtani Jatha International, Shri Sukhmani Sahib Seva Society and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee.
The protest in Kotkapura was led by Bhai Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale, Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala, Panthpreet Singh, Giani Kewal Singh and Sarabjit Singh Dhunda, among others, all of whom are said to be detained by police. Faridkot SSP Sukhmandir Singh said he was not in a position to say anything on the arrests and the situation would be clear by Thursday.
Dhadrianwale, a Sikh preacher and kirtani active in Bathinda and Haryana, had earlier supported the joint call given by Dal Khalsa and Panch Pardhani to boycott the jathedars to protest against the pardon granted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. He is associated with Parmeshar Dwar Gurmat Parchar Mission. Bhai Panthpreet Singh, another Sikh preacher, also accompanying Dhadrianwale at Kotkapura, is also believed to have been arrested. SAD (Amritsar) leaders on Wednesday claimed that the police manhandled and injured Panthpreet Singh at the protest site before resorting to lathicharge and firing at protesters at Kotkapura Chowk.
Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale, Bhai Panthpreet Singh and Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala were detained from the Kotkapura protest site on Monday, but were later released.
Videos posted online
Videos of police lathicharge and use of water cannons on protesters at various places have been posted on Sikh news websites. Some of these show the police vandalising vehicles around the protest areas after the spot had been cleared of the protesters. Protesters alleged that the police torched their own vehicles to justify the use of force.
Chandigarh, Parmeshar Dwar Trust, Nirvair Khalsa Jatha, Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj, Akhand Kirtani Jatha International, Shri Sukhmani Sahib Seva Society, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee, Sikh preacher, Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh