Stick-wielding Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers on Tuesday allegedly attacked farmers, who were protesting against state minister Sikander Singh Maluka at Kothaguru village in Bathinda district.
Sources said three protesters, including two women, received injuries in the ‘assault.’ The protesters alleged that cops remained mute spectator while they were being beaten up and chased away by Akali workers. They also claimed that police detained 11 members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and sent them to Bathinda jail.
Farmers had gathered at the village to protest against Maluka, who had come to mobilise people for November 23 Sadbhawana rally at Bathinda.
Police, however, intercepted protesters when they started marching towards the venue of the function. But some farmers managed to reach the venue with black flags. Irked over protesters’ arrival, Akali supporters, who were part of Maluka cavalcade, allegedly attacked them with sticks.
Shingara Singh Mann, district president of BKU (Ugarahan), said the Akali workers didnl;t even spare women. “SAD workers were angry as farmers had showed black flags to Maluka’s cavalcade on Monday at Poddhipur and Rammowal villages. Shockingly, police didn’t so anything to stop Akali workers,” Mann claimed. He added the farmers would continue their protest against SAD ministers and leaders.
When asked, Rampura deputy superintendent of police Gurjeet Singh Romana, feigned ignorance about Akali workers attacking protesting farmers and said police have detained some agitators. Maluka could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
On November 14, eight persons were injured after police cane-charged protesting farmers, who were opposing the visit of cabinet minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon at Khokhar village in Bathinda district.
Notably, SAD ministers and MLas are facing public wrath over current unrest in the state and have even hired private guards to provide security cover at public meetings.