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Akali leaders court arrest 

Chandigarh, November 5

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, party MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Akali MLAs and other senior leaders courted arrest on Monday over the alleged denigration of Sikh Gurus in the Class XII history textbook.

Sukhbir and other party leaders led an unannounced protest march against the state government over the issue. The Akali Dal leaders broke through the barricades to reach right near the gate of the high-security Chief Minister’s residence. Raising slogans against the CM, they staged a dharna for almost two hours before about 50 of them courted arrest and were taken away by the police. They were later released.

A scuffle between the cops and Akali leaders took place when the latter tried to breach the second line of defence put up by the CM’s security and the Chandigarh Police.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh accused the Akali Dal of trying to take the law in its hands and diverting public attention. Sukhbir has also been targeted by his political opponents for raking up the issue to shift the focus away from the growing rumblings within his party. Even though SAD MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura has gone hammer and tongs after him, Sukhbir refused to comment on the matter, saying that the decision on the rebel would be taken by the party’s core committee. 

He insisted that the issue (denigration of Gurus) was still relevant, even though the controversial book had been withdrawn by the government. “We want the CMto apologise for this ‘be-adbi’ (sacrilege). Does he (CM) or any of his ministers agree with what has been written against the Gurus? If not, why have they not apologised to the Sikhs or ordered legal action against those denigrating the Gurus?” Sukhbir asked.

Sidhu hits out at Sukhbir on dharnas

Chandigarh: Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday lashed out at SAD chief Sukhbir Badal for staging a series of dharnas. Sidhu said, “During his tenure as Deputy CM, Sukhbir said dharnas are either staged by vehle (idle) or gharron kadde (those ousted from their homes). Now why does he stage a dharna daily on one pretext or other?”

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