Bid to gherao Punjab assembly: Sukhbir Badal, Vijay Sampla, Bikram Majithia detained in Chandigarh

After boycott of the Governor’s address in the Punjab assembly Tuesday morning, SAD-BJP had staged a huge dharna in Chandigarh. Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and state BJP chief Vijay Sampla were present on the stage.

punjab Updated: Mar 20, 2018 22:22 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
gherao Punjab assembly,Sukhbir Badal,Vijay Sampla
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal, minister of state for social justice and empowerment Vijay Sampla and Akali leader Bikram Majithia being detained by Chandigarh police. (HT Photo)

Several Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and workers, including former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union minister Vijay Sampla, were detained when they tried to ‘gherao’ the Punjab assembly over farm loan waiver issue.

Earlier, police used water cannons and resorted to mild lathicharge when the protesting SAD-BJP workers attempted to break the barricades and pelted police with stones and bricks at the rally ground in Sector 25 in their bid to move towards the state assembly.

Turbans were tossed and some protesters, including Sampla, and policemen were injured in the melee. Majithia was seen pushing Sukhbir to lead from the front and kept on boosting the workers before Chandigarh Police detained the duo, Sampla and many senior leaders. They were taken to Sector-17 police station and were released after half-an-hour. Sampla, who received an eye injury, was taken to the PGIMER.

Later, condemning the police action, Sukhbir said they were holding a peaceful protest and the police resorted to lathicharge without any provocation.

Earlier, the Akali leaders held a rally at the Sector 25 ground which was attended by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. Attacking chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, he urged farmers not to pay their loans as he (Amarinder) had taken the responsibility to waive their dues.

Terming the protest a success, Sukhbir said the magnitude of the gathering was reflective of the anger of the people against the Amarinder government. He also demanded implementation of loan waiver of all farmers, besides extended the scheme to farm labourers and Dalits. “If this is not done, SAD and BJP workers would gherao Congress ministers,” he said.

The SAD president also announced that the party would not allow the government to impose bills on agricultural tubewells.

First Published: Mar 20, 2018 15:05 IST