Sukhbir Badal’s cavalcade attacked in Sangrur, SAD blames SSP
Radical Sikh outfits were opposing ex-deputy CM’s meeting with Akali workers at a gurdwara; party claims a protester attacked his car with kirpan.Updated: Oct 05, 2018, 09:16 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s cavalcade was attacked by members of radical Sikh outfits who hit the vehicles with sticks and hurled shoes when he was on his way to a gurdwara in Sangrur to attend a meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The attack, the Akali Dal claimed, was carried out at the behest of the Sangrur senior superintendent of police (SSP). The party said a man even attacked Sukhbir’s car with a kirpan. The police said they were verifying the claim.
Activists owing allegiance to the Granthi Sabha and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) were opposing Sukhbir’s meeting scheduled at Gurdwara Nanakiana Sahib on the outskirts of Sangrur town.
Around a hundred protesters, led by Granthi Sabha president Bachittar Singh, started gathering nearly 500 metres from the gurdwara after 2pm.
When Sukhbir’s cavalcade reached there two about hours later, they showed black flags to him besides raising slogans against the Akali Dal and him. The police personnel, however, stopped the protesters from blocking the road.
They were carrying pictures of militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, militant Jagtar Hawara and others.
‘Police brought the protesters’
Later, addressing the party workers at the gurdwara, Sukhbir said, “These people are backed by radical Sikh preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal and the ruling Congress. Daduwal moves in a car worth ₹1.5 crore. He should tell the people from where he is getting money.”
“The Sangrur SSP hatched the entire plot. The police brought the protesters there,” he said after the meeting.
Later in a statement, Sukhbir said Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is responsible for the security lapse as it was the state police under him that allowed the attackers come close to venue of meeting he was to address. “Why did the police allow the SAD (Amritsar) supporters come so close to my convoy? We never allowed any security breach of our political opponents during our government,” he said.
SAD spokesperson Winnerjit Goldy filed a complaint against Bachittar Singh at the Sadar police station and alleged that he plotted an attack on Sukhbir.
“I have lodged a complaint and demanded action against the attackers. If the police fail to act against them, we will intensify our stir,” said Goldy.
‘Akalis using shrines as their property’
When contacted, Bachittar Singh said they were only trying to stop Sukhbir from entering the gurdwara premises but were the police did not let them do so. “The Akalis are using religious places as their personal property. We were opposing Sukhbir’s visit. A stick may have hit one of the cars when the protesters were trying to stop the cavalcade,” he said.
“We have received a complaint from SAD workers and will probe the matter,” said Sadra station house officer (SHO) Rakesh Kumar.
Sangrur SSP Sandeep Garg rejected the SAD chief’s allegations and said the police only performed their duty.
“The police did not allow the protesters to stop the cavalcade. Statements are being recorded and an FIR will be registered against those who tried to stop cars,” he said.