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Man hurls shoe at Badal; Akali Dal blames AAP

IANS  Ludhiana, August 16, 2014
First Published: 10:39 IST(16/8/2014) | Last Updated: 10:52 IST(16/8/2014)

A shoe was hurled at Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal by a youth, identified as Vikram, 23, resident of Dhanoula in Barnala district, in a village near here on Friday during an Independence Day function.

Vikram, however, claimed that he did not hurl the show towards the CM, but towards his chair on the dias.

"I'm angry with all the politicians...they promise employment, but on ground do nothing," Vikram said, adding that he was against politicians as 'they make false promises'.

Meanwhile, Ludhiana (Rural) SSP GS Dhillon said initial interrogation of the youth had revealed that he owes allegiance to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He is a AAP leader from Barnala, said Dhillon.

Dhillon said Vikram claimed that he is convener of the AAP's Dhanaula unit. The accused, along with four others, had came to the venue with pre-planned strategy to indulge in such an activity by way of which they can get publicity, he added.

He also raised slogans against the CM before hurling the footwear. He has been taken into custody and is being interrogated, the SSP said.

Commenting on the episode, Badal said he had 'forgiven' the youth.

In a statement released later, the Akali Dal warned the AAP to desist from making attempts to disturb peace in Punjab through such incidents.

Akali Dal general secretary Maheshinder Singh Grewal said if such incident of shoe hurling happened again, "it would be difficult to stop the Akali cadre from reacting to the incendiary actions of AAP members".

Grewal said while democratic means to protest are welcome, "no civilised society could allow such attempts to disturb the law and order situation in Punjab to succeed".

He said the AAP member had not only tried to disturb law and order but also shown disrespect to martyrs on the Independence Day.

Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa also condemned the incident. "This incident should be condemned by all as it is not part of political culture of the state," he said, adding, however, that it did reflect the growing frustration against the Badal government.

Meanwhile, addressing a gathering in Issru area of Ludhiana, the CM appealed the people to play a proactive role in strengthening the state's spirit of communal harmony and progress.

Badal also asked them to teach an 'appropriate lesson' to all anti-Punjab forces deliberately trying to disrupt the unity, peace and progress in the state.

The function was organised to remember Master Karnail Singh Issru, the first Punjabi martyr of 'Goa Liberation Movement' and martyr Bhupinder Singh Issru, who had sacrificed his life for the welfare of peasantry.

Badal said, be it the pre-independence era or the post-independence, the Punjab had always striven hard to protect the dignity of India at all fronts, but unfortunately certain "anti-Punjab forces" had always tried to defame its glory.

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