Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal with others at his residence in Muktsar district on Wednesday.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal with others at his residence in Muktsar district on Wednesday.

Sukhbir holds political event at his residence in violation of Covid norms

Newly appointed president of SAD’s student wing booked; no mention of Sukhbir in first information report
By Vishal Joshi, Bathinda
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2021 01:43 AM IST

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday held a large political gathering of youth activists at his residence in Muktsar district in violation of pandemic protocols.

Arshdeep Singh Robin Brar, the newly appointed president of the Students Organisation of India (SOI), SAD’s student wing, reached Sukhbir’s residence at Badal village with his supporters.

Even as the Punjab government has imposed a ban on all social, political and cultural events, more than 100 activists of SOI and SAD were present when Sukhbir addressed the gathering.

The violation was leaked on social media. In a video, a leader is heard asking the attendees not to take pictures or film those present. Among those present were Sukhbir’s political aides, including Muktsar MLA Kanwarjit Singh Rozy Barkandi, senior SAD leader Tejinder Singh Midhukhera, and the party’s public relations team.

Sukhbir asked the activists to start working for the next assembly elections. He asked Brar to start mass enrollment of students at the district level.

Sukhbir’s media coordinator Rajya Deep declined to comment, saying the SAD chief was not available.

Brar admitted that a large gathering at Sukhbir’s residence should have been avoided.

“After my appointment as SOI president two days ago, I had a programme to meet the SAD president in a small group. Since SOI activists were aware of today’s event, they reached in large numbers. I urged them to maintain social distancing and wear masks but my repeated requests went unheard,” said Brar.

Muktsar senior superintendent of police (SSP) D Sudarvizhi said she has asked for details about the Covid-rules violations for further legal action in the matter.

On April 22, Sukhbir visited six wheat purchase centres in Bathinda and Moga districts with a large number of party workers and close aides. No social distancing was maintained at his meetings with farmers and party workers.

Muktsar district on Wednesday reported 269 new cases and now has 1,925 active cases. Three Covid-related deaths were reported in the district.

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