Tension gripped Mohali on Friday as the police forcibly picked up Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa - who had been on a fast-unto-death for the last 22 days — at midnight on Thursday from the Amb Sahib Gurudwara here and lodged him in a jail in Rupnagar.
While Gurbaksh Singh is believed to be continuing with his hunger strike in jail,several hardliner groups converged in the town this morning and replaced Gurbaksh with another volunteer.
According to the six eyewitnesses,including SAD (Panch Pardhani) leader Harpal Singh Cheema who claimed to have been present at gurudwara in phase 8 — where Gurbaksh had pitched his tent — just after midnight around 25-30 policemen came to the spot dressed in civilian clothes and looked like sympathisers of the hunger strike.
They forcefully detained Gurbaksh even as we tried to stop them. There was a minor tussle after which they left with Gurbaksh in an ambulance for Civil Hospital,Phase 6. There were around 250-300 police personnel in the area at the time. But the ones who took away Gurbaksh were in civilian clothes,which is unlawful, said Cheema,while addressing the supporters who gathered on the spot on Friday morning.
The police however,denied the accusation. We took Gurbaksh into preventive custody in a very polite manner,so that peace is not disrupted. There was no tussle with anyone, said DSP (City 2) Ajinder Singh. He said Gurbaksh Singh had been detained under Sections 107/151 of the Cr PC to prevent a possible law and order problem.
Meanwhile,five persons Manjit Kaur,Jaswant Singh,Inderpal Singh,Harpreet Singh and Hardeep Singh resorted to a 24 hour hunger strike in the absence of Gurbaksh.
In the afternoon,president of SAD (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann and former DGP (Prisons) Shashi Kant,along with others,visited the spot and held a meeting with representatives of various organisations,following which Damandeep Singh was chosen as the volunteer from among many volunteers to replace Gurbaksh and his cause and resort to a fast-unto-death,until the sentences of the six Sikh prisoners are remitted.
When actor Sanjay Dutt,who was convicted under TADA can be paroled,then why are others not given the same treatment? Sikhs and Muslims are targetted and discriminated against and I fail to understand why Parkash Singh Badal is supporting Narendra Modi who was responsible for anti-Muslim riots and for uprooting Sikh farmers from his state? said Mann while addressing the gathering.
Members of various Sikh organisations including Dal Khalsa,Damdami Taksal and All India Sikh Students Federation were present at the spot.
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