Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal were briefly detained by Chandigarh Police late Thursday (October 1, 2020) night while taking out a ‘kisan march’ in protest against the farm bills.
The party leaders were released late Thursday night after a brief detention.
SAD Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal was detained in Mullapur, Harsimrat Kaur Badal was held in Zirakpur by the police. The party was carrying out three separate protests from three religious Takhts in Punjab to Chandigarh.
While Sukhbir was leading one of the marches from the Akal Takht in Amritsar, his wife Harsimrat was leading another procession which commenced from Takht Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda. The third procession was led by senior Akali leaders Prem Singh Chandumajra and Daljit Singh Cheema from Takht Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib.
The party leaders were prevented from entering Chandigarh to hand over a memorandum for the President to the State Governor urging revocation of the three “black” laws on agriculture.
Senior SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal said the use of “brutal” lathi-charge and water cannons on peaceful protesting workers made this painful and dark day for democracy in the country.
“No one knows better than Akali workers how to stand up to brutal authoritarianism like one demonstrated by Chandigarh police against innocent workers,” he told ANI.
“We opposed the black laws in parliament and subsequently left the ministry and even the alliance with the BJP. Today we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the farmers of Punjab. I assure the farmers that the SAD will not only fight for their rights but ensure they remained protected,” he said.
Last week, the party had partedd ways with the ruling NDA in its protest against the contentious farm bills. On September 17, Harsimrat Kaur Badal had quit the Union Cabinet after the SAD chief had strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming the legislation will “destroy” the agriculture sector in Punjab.