Besides ensuring adequate arrangements for VVIP politicians, keeping the political rally tobacco- free seems to be another Herculean task for Punjab police guards.
Though the Sikh tenets prohibits consumption of tobacco in any form, a large number of tobacco users on Friday attended deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal rally in favour of SAD-BJP candidate from Patiala Deepinder Singh Dhillon at Silver Oak Palace, here.
The rally was organised in the Patiala rural constituency and most of the participants were from different villages.
To ensure that no supporter managed to take any tobacco sachet in the rally, a special security guard was made to sit near the entry gate and assigned the duty directing the people to leave behind their “prized possessions” outside the venue.
The piles of sachets of chewing tobaccos kept on growing near the metallic detectors since people started gathering to hear SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
SAD workers were seen arguing with the policemen unsuccessfully who refused to allow products inside.
Even tobacco items banned by the state government including “gutkha and pan masala” were found lying in the piles of sachets near the entry point.
Interestingly, at the end of the rally, people were seen jostling with each other rushing to security point to collect their respective sachets, which the police stacked in the polythene outside the entry point.
“We have been given special direction for not allowing anyone with tobacco products during rallies of any of VVIP politicians,” said one of the police officers.
“Moreover, we have to remain more vigilant when rally is in the rural area,” the officer added.