Warming up to Akali Dal rebels Bains brothers, senior Congress leader Sunil Jakhar was in the city on Tuesday to express solidarity, a day after police resorted to cane charge on protesters led by them. One of the two brothers, Simarjit Bains, is still in police custody.
Independent MLAs Simarjit Bains from Atam Nagar and his brother Balwinder Bains from Ludhiana (south) constituencies had on Monday organised a protest against a cable network that turned violent and police canecharged the protesters. Several people were injured and many were detained.
Jakhar, along with Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu and district party chief Gurpreet Gogi, also went to Koomkalan police station to meet Simarjit, but they were not allowed to meet him.
“The state government is brutally crushing voices of dissent. The SAD-BJP government doesn’t mind using force against even the elected representatives,” said Jakhar.
He said the way police handled the situation during the protest on Monday was appalling. “There seems to be an undeclared emergency as people are being beaten up and thrown into jails if they raise their voice against injustice,” Jakhar said.
Bains brothers in the recent past have intensified their activities against the state government by organising protests against sand mafia, illegal mining and alleged corruption in government departments.
When asked whether the Congress was sending feelers to Bains brothers to join the party, Jakhar said he was no authority to include anyone in the party fold and such decisions are taken by the high command only.
Bains brothers, who are SAD rebels, have a considerable following not only in the constituencies they represent but even outside. Both of them have been arrested at least five times in the past one year for one reason or the other. On Monday, nine sections of the penal code were slapped against those arrested on Monday, including Simarjit.
Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu said police in the state were there to establish the rule of the law and not to arrest people who raised voice against ‘injustice’.