Row over remarks: SAD-BSP, AAP up ante against Ludhiana MP Bittus, eek his arrest

Protesters claimed that conclusive evidence was available against Bittu in public realm (via the video) and police should not try to save him, just because he was from the ruling Congress
Senior SAD leadership led by former cabinet minister Daljit Cheema have also submitted a complaint against the MP with Ludhiana police commissioner (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Senior SAD leadership led by former cabinet minister Daljit Cheema have also submitted a complaint against the MP with Ludhiana police commissioner (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Published on Jun 18, 2021 12:21 AM IST
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Ludhiana The SAD-BSP alliance and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) intensified protest against Congress Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu for allegedly casteist comments he has made in a video that has gone viral on social media. To make their point, the opposition made sure it protested in the MP’s constituency. The protesters, however, violated all covid norms with most of them without masks and no social distance maintained at all.

Senior leadership of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that former cabinet ministers Daljit Singh Cheema and Gulzar Singh Ranike led, submitted a complaint to Ludhiana police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal on Thursday, seeking an FIR against Bittu. They also sought immediate arrest of Bittu. The alliance wants Bittu booked under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Sections 295A (outraging religious feelings), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of the peace).

The AAP, led by leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, burnt the effigy of Bittu and CM Captain Amarinder Singh at the Jalandhar Bypass Chowk for allegedly inciting hatred towards the dalit community.

Cheema (of SAD) claimed that conclusive evidence was available against Bittu in public realm (via the video) and police should not try to save him, just because he was from the ruling Congress. “Bittu has effectively stated that holy seats have been given to unholy persons. This is intolerable as it goes against the Constitution which guarantees equality to all and is also against Sikh ethos and culture,”

AAP leaders said the ‘Gurus’ had risen above castes and religions. “The opinion and views of Congress leaders is completely contrary to the message given by the ‘Gurus’,” they claimed.

“If the CM had been serious in the matter, he would have condemned Bittu’s statement and acted against him,” said Harpal Cheema, accusing the Congress of dividing society for political interests. Bittu was not available for comments despite repeated calls on his phone. Previously, he has said that his statement had been misinterpreted, and he meant to say that the Akali Dal had deserted ‘Panthic’ seats. In the video, Bittu had flayed SAD for giving away the pious seats of Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib to the BSP, as part of their poll alliance.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021