Four persons were injured and a police vehicle damaged when stones were hurled at the convoy of deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal by a group of protesters at a village in his constituency, Jalalabad, in Fazilka district on Sunday.
The SAD later blamed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which denied any involvement, though a video of the incident was shared by the AAP on its social media accounts.
Watch the video here:
Sukhbir was unhurt as his car had already gone past the dozen-odd protesters, who were reportedly miffed at not getting a chance to talk to him about an issue with public toilets. This was Sukhbir’s first visit to the segment — where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded its firebrand leader Bhagwant Mann — after officially being declared the party candidate.
It occurred around 6pm, when Sukhbir was moving towards Fazilka after a public gathering at Kandhwala Hajar Khan, 20 km from the district headquarters. Ketan Baliram Patil, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Fazilka, acknowledged that the vehicle of SP Amarjeet Singh, who was deployed for Sukhbir’s security, was among some vehicles damaged. “A probe is on and very soon the culprits will be taken to task as per law,” he said.
After the incident, a large number of policemen, besides a battery of officials, reached at the spot.
Among those injured were Akali leader Palwinder Singh, who is a former sarpanch, and Manpreet Singh. They were taken to the Fazilka civil hospital but the injuries were not reported to be serious.
Village sarpanch Harjinder Singh Bhullar alleged, “This was the handiwork of AAP workers who cannot digest the eventuality of an Akali Dal victory.”
But AAP’s Mann refuted it. “Our party does not believe in violence. Rather, this is the outburst of the common man against 10 years of misrule by the Akalis.”
Before Kandhwala Hajar Khan, Sukhbir had addressed gatherings at three other villages.