CHANDIGARH: A shoe was hurled at Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at a public meeting in Rattakhera Chhota village of Lambi constituency in Muktsar, close on the heels of stones pelted at the cavalcade of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal at village Kandhwala Hazar Khan in Jalalabad on Sunday.
The alleged accused who threw the shoe was identified as 40-year-old Gurbachan Singh hailing from Rattakhera Chhota but residing at Jhurarkhera village in Abohar. He was reportedly annoyed over the incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib. Singh was immediately arrested by the police.
Police sources claimed that Gurbachan Singh is the brother of hardliner Sikh Amrik Singh Ajnala who is ‘self-styled’ parallel jathedar of Takht Keshgarh Sahib.
Sitting among the public, Singh threw the shoe at Badal on an impulse, which hit the CM on his face breaking his spectacles. The CM also sustained a minor injury near his eye, however, he chose to continue with the programme.
The police registered a case against Gurbachan Singh at Kabarwala Police Station and he is now in police custody. Muktsar senior superintendent of police Dhruman H Nimbale said, ”CM Badal was just getting up after completing his address when a shoe was hurled, the accused was arrested and a case has been registered.’’
“Singh appeared to be upset over the sacrilege incidents which took place in Punjab,” he added.
Reacting to the incident, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said that the incident of shoe- throwing by a person from outside his constituency has proved beyond doubt that our opponents have lost the game and want to scuttle a peaceful , free and fair poll. “Here is clear proof that our opponents have conceded defeat in these elections and were now resorting to such disruptive tactics,“ he said.
“Behind such incidents are people who want to set Punjab on flames again and push the youth of Punjab back into the jaws of bloodshed and confrontation from which the people of the State have emerged after unspeakable sacrifices. These desperate elements have the backing of our political rivals who are increasingly turning desperate, seeing that all their tall talk and boastfulness about these elections has turned out to be mere day dreaming, and Punjab is set to vote SAD-BJP back for a third tenure in service of the people,’’ he said.
Badal however said that as a father figure in the State, he would never be either provoked or desisted from his path of service of the people. “These people emerge like seasonal birds at the time of elections. But I have stayed amid the people every day of my life,’’ said Badal.
A few days ago, a group of people threw stones at the cavalcade of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at Kandhwala Hazir Khan village in his constituency, Jalalabad in Fazilka district, leaving four Akali supporters injured. The Assembly elections in Punjab are scheduled to take place on February 4.
Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh termed the incident of shoe throwing on Parkash Singh Badal, and the earlier stone-pelting on Sukhbir Badal’s convoy, as regrettable, but added that it was the pent-up anger of the people coming to the fore. He urged the people to use the ballot to avenge themselves against Badals for the atrocities unleashed on them over the past 10 years.