The house of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann at Talania locality in the city was surrounded by more than 10 cops on Sunday morning, purportedly to prevent him from leaving for Ludhiana.
Even as Mann alleged that he had been placed under house arrest, the police - without giving any reason for the deployment of the posse of personnel - outside his house, claimed that he had not been put under any ‘kind of arrest’.
“Some police personnel stopped me at the gate of my house, when I was leaving for Ludhiana. I was asked not to leave. No reason was given for this arbitrary order,” Mann told members of the media later in the day.
He claimed that he wanted to travel to Ludhiana to give a letter of condolence to Ludhiana deputy commissioner, to be passed on to French president Francois Hollande in light of the terrorist attack in Paris.
“The police department is controlled by the Badals. They are trying to intimidate us, but these tactics would not work,” Mann added, claiming that he had obtained an order from the Punjab and Haryana high court which mandated that the police could not arrest him without specifying a reason and the department also had to give him a week’s notice before arrest.
Fatehgarh Sahib SDM Pooja Syal Grewal said, “This was not a house arrest. He wanted to submit a memorandum on the terror attack in France. I received that from him and have forwarded it to Fatehgarh Sahib deputy commissioner. I have no idea of any police deployment.”
Rajvinder Singh Sohal, superintendent of police (detective), who led the team that foiled Mann’s travel plans said, “This is not a house arrest. He wanted to give a letter of condolence. The sub-divisional magistrate visited Mann and took the letter.”
Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Jatinder Singh Khaira said, “It was not a house arrest. Our team did visit Mann’s house, as we apprehended breach of peace if he travelled and do have the powers of preventive arrest. However, after he produced an order from the high court, we did not carry out any arrest.”