A total of 16 people, one by name, have been booked for Sunday’s incident wherein stones were hurled at the convoy of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at a village in Jalalabad, a sub division in Fazilka district.
Harpreet Singh alias Nikka of Khandhwala Hajar Khan village and 15 unidentified people have been booked on the statement of Charan Singh, chairman of Arniwala Market Committee, for assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, voluntary causing hurt and other charges by the Arniwala police.
Sources said, police rounded up Nikka and four others and all were let off except him.
Four people were injured in the incident. The SAD had blamed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) even as the latter had denied its involvement.
Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday described the attack on Sukhbir Singh Badal’s convoy in his Jalalabad constituency as unfortunate, but added that it had been expected as there was huge pent-up anger among the people, who had been simply waiting for the code of conduct to be imposed before venting it.
He, however, urged the people not to resort to violence but to use the ballot to avenge themselves against the terror and victimization unleashed on them by the Badal government over the past 10 years.
While their anger was justified, it was not correct for the people to take the law into their hands and they should wait for the polling day, which was less than a month away, to take out their fury against the misrule of the Badals, said Captain Amarinder.
He pointed out that he had all along maintained that the Badals would not be able to step into their own villages without facing the wrath of the people once the code of conduct is in place.
The simmering rage of the incensed people of Punjab has started coming to the fore in the wake of the imposition of the Code of Conduct, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the people had been waiting for the blanket of fear, under which they were forced to live under the Akali misrule, to lift before giving way to their frustration and ire against the Badals.
The Badals’ atrocities against the people had transformed Punjab into a virtual tinderbox waiting to explode, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president said, adding that the situation was volatile and needed strong measures by the Election Commission to prevent it from getting out of control ahead of the Assembly polls.
For 10 years, the Badals and their corrupt cronies in the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had been victimizing and terrorizing the people into submission, plunging the state into total lawlessness and giving a free hand to criminal and mafia gangs, Captain Amarinder noted. The people were now spontaneously retaliating against the persecution and oppression unleashed against them by the Badals all these years, he added.
Fed up of the anti-people and corrupt policies of the Akalis, with their strong criminal nexus, Punjab was now witnessing a churning which will end with the Badals and their party being unceremoniously thrown out of the state in these Assembly elections, said Captain Amarinder.
Sukhbir had to face the wrath of angry, stone-pelting villagers during his Assembly election campaign in Jalalabad in Fazilka district as he was leaving after addressing a public rally. The spontaneous attack by the people clearly showed their anger and resentment against the Badals, under whose corrupt and criminal rule they had been suffering for the past 10 years, several PPCC leaders meanwhile said.
Addressing mediapersons in Chandigarh, Manpreet Badal said the Badals were responsible for the unfortunate development as they had pushed the people of the state to despair with their cruel and criminal actions.
The incident marked the beginning of the collapse of Sukhbir’s Sukhvillas, whose facades were evidently crumbling in the face of the people’s fury, PPCC leaders Rana Sodhi, Hans Raj Josan and Parminder Pinky said in a separate statement.
The Jalalabad incident, though regrettable and not condonable from the perspective of conducting free and fair elections in the state, reflected the depths of despair to which the people had been reduced, the Punjab Congress leaders.
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