Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann on Friday alleged that he was put under house arrest by the police on Friday.
The radical leader said the action came after he announced the July 17 protest march to Bargari, the epicentre of Sikh protests against sacrilege last year. Mann had announced the march three days back, against the alleged failure of the Punjab Police and the government to arrest those responsible for sacrilege.
Mann said party workers from other areas of Punjab were also detained in the morning, while some leaders managed to escape. Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harcharan Singh Bhullar, however, refuted the allegation. “Mann was not put under house arrest. It was only a routine affair,” said Bhullar.
Leaders of other radical outfits and organisers of the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, including Mohkam Singh of the United Akali Dal, were also “arrested” along with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) rebel and former Golden Temple ‘ragi’ Baldev Singh Wadala.
Blaming deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for vitiating the state’s atmosphere, the radical outfit Dal Khalsa termed the arrests “unjustified” and “unwarranted”.
“The proposed march is neither unlawful nor a threat to peace and communal harmony,” said Dal Khalsa president Harpal Singh Cheema. “Police are acting against law. People are disillusioned with the ruling party. They have made up their mind to unseat Badals for their follies and inaction,” he said.