Chandigarh/ Amritsar: The Punjab police launched a massive crackdown on Sikh leaders and activists on Friday (July 15) in wake of July 17 samagam at Bhai Bhagta. The police have reportedly arrested dozens of persons including United Akali Dal leader Gurdeep Singh Bathinda, Chamkaur Singh Bhai Rupa, Harphool Singh Bathinda, Surinder Singh Nathana.
Former Darbar Sahib Ardasiya Bhai Balbir Singh and former Hazoori Ragi Bhai Baldev Singh Wadala were picked from their houses in the city at around 5 am, but later they were released.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) general secretary Jarnail Singh Sakhera said all Sikh leaders were picked up from their houses. Those detained include United Akali Dal president Bhai Mohkam Singh, SAD (Amritsar) district president Harbir Singh Sandhu, Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, Bhai Gurdeep Singh Bathinda and others, he claimed.
Meanwhile, the police have reportedly put SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjeet Singh Mann under house arrest.
The has made heavy arrangements of the Punjab police in Bhai Bhagta and adjoining areas to prevent gathering of the Sikh sangat.
Notably the Sikh groups, including SAD (Amritsar) and Untied Akali Dal had announced to hold Akhand Path Sahib at Bhai Bagta from 15 to 17 July in wake of incident of beadbi of Gurbani last month. Sikh bodies have announced to hold a march from Bhai Bhagta to Bargari on July 17.
Sikh body Dal Khalsa has strongly condemned the police crackdown while maintaining that state’s home minister and deputy CM Sukhbir Badal was mis-using police power.