A shoe was hurled at Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal by an alleged Aam Aadmi Party member during the annual political conference held at Issru village in Khanna district, Ludhiana on Independence Day.
When CM Badal was about to end his speech and raise the slogans ‘Inquillab Zindabad’ and ‘Jai Hind’, a shoe landed among the security personnel in front of CM’s dais. CM Badal was said to be unhurt.
The 35-year-old man who hurled the shoe was identified later on as Bikram. He called himself ‘an inquillabi’. Bikram was nabbed by the police on the spot.
“I am not a Sikh, Christian, Hindu or Muslim. Do not call me Bikram Singh, Bikram Masih, Bikram Kumar or Bikram Khan. I am an inquillabi. I threw the shoe on system of this country, not CM,” said Bikram when questioned by the police.
He accused CM Badal of ruining the SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee) and added that Punjab is a state where no respect is being given to the teachers, and the education system was in its worst shape ever.
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The police claimed that the accused is a member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Addressing a press conference, DIG Ludhiana range, G S Dhillon said, “The accused along with four others came in a Duster car to hurl a shoe at CM. The accused is the convenor of Aam Aadmi Party, Dhanola village circle, district Sangrur.”
“The aim was however to gain media attention and respect within the party,” said Dhillon. The four other accused identified by police are yet to be arrested.
Later, during the press conference, when asked about the incident CM Badal said ‘mere waalo sab nu maafi’ (I have forgiven all).
Meanwhile, reacting sharply to the incident, SAD issued a warning to Aam Aadmi party and said it will be difficult to control SAD cadre if such incidents continued.
SAD general secretary and core committee member Maheshinder Singh Grewal said while democratic means of protests were always welcome, no civilised society could allow such vulgar attempts to disturb the law and order situation in Punjab to succeed.
Grewal said it was condemning the act of an AAP member who had tried to not only disturb law and order at the Isru conference, but had also disrespected the martyrs on the day the nation was celebrating its independence.
The SAD leader said that party had asked its workers to exercise restraint. “However in case AAP indulges in any such act again it would be difficult to control the SAD cadre which might then not allow the Aam Aadmi Party to hold any political conference in Punjab in future,” he said.
Congress too condemned the incident. Punjab Congress president, Partap Singh Bajwa said that “this was totally against the culture of this land of Gurus, sages and seers”.
“This is an incident which should be condemned by all as it is not part of political culture of this state,” he added.
Every year on Independence Day, political conferences are held in village Issru and leaders pay tribute to Shaheed Karnail Singh who died in Goa fighting for India’s independence.