President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann was on Friday stopped by the police from visiting Bhai Rupa village where he wanted to meet the villagers on the issue of alleged atrocities by the police over a land dispute with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Mann, who, along with other leaders of his party, was on way to the village in a car, was stopped by the police on the Bathinda-Bhucho road and was asked not to go ahead.
Mann said that the police were trying to curb the rights of the people by not even allowing them to meet the villagers.
He said that he had told the police that he would simply meet the residents, who are alleging atrocities at the hands of the police after a clash with the SGPC over the land dispute, but the police simply disallowed him to go ahead citing the law and order problem.
"I offered them to check my vehicle and told them that only three-four persons are accompanying me, so there is no threat to law and order, but the police did not buy the logic and cops drove us up to Zira in Ferozpur district to make sure that we don't return," he said.
However, DSP Gurjit Singh Ramana said that Mann was convinced that it was not appropriate for him to visit the village in view of the law and order situation and he, along with other leaders, agrees and didn't go ahead.
Meanwhile, before heading towards Bhai Rupa village, Mann, while addressing mediapersons here, said that Operation Bluestar in 1984 had divided the Sikh community in two parts - those against it and those in support of it - and said his party was the only one against the attack while all others have collaborated in one way or the other with those who perpetrated the attack.
On the clash in the Golden Temple on June 6, he said that people were opposing bestowing of a siropa on Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhuma and the Akal Takht jathedar had urged him to intervene in the matter. "As I was about to address the people to request them to calm down, the SGPC task force members attacked the youth raising voice against the siropa to Dhuma, and that led to the clash," he said.
He questioned the existence of the SGPC task force and said that according to the Supreme Court order, no such private militia can exist but the SGPC was having a task force that it utilises when needed as was done in Bhai Rupa village to capture 161 acres of land.
Villagers claim man arrested, police deny
Meanwhile, residents of Bhai Rupa village alleged that a person named Narinder Singh was arrested by the police on Friday evening. Member of the Dhan Dhan Baba Bhai Roop Chandji Langar Sewa Society Dharam Singh alleged that Narinder was arrested from a flour mill in the village and was taken to the police station. However, SHO, Phul, Sikander Singh, denied of having arrested any person.