New Delhi: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday took out a protest march to the Parliament on completion of one year of enactment of the three contentious farms laws. The party has decided to observe September 17 as ‘Black Day’. SAD leader and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and party president Sukhbir Singh Badal led the protest march from Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib to the Parliament building. The leaders of were detained and taken to Sansad Marg Police Station, said Delhi Police.
A police officer told PTI the leaders were detained for taking out the protest march in violation of COVID-19 guidelines. They were subsequently released. The protest led to massive traffic snarls in several parts of the national capital.
“A number of farmers have died and many are still sitting at the state borders but this government (Centre) is indifferent. We will continue our fight until the three farm laws are repealed,” said Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Thursday issued a notice to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema prohibiting the party’s protest march from Gurdwara Rakabganj to Parliament on Friday.
As per the notice issued by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Deepak Yadav, all types of social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious and festival-related gatherings and congregations are prohibited in the national capital till September 30 in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, SAD General Secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra had said, “Our party will hold a protest march from Delhi’s Gurdwara Rakabganj to the Parliament, demanding repeal of the three laws.”
“The march will be peaceful. We will give a memorandum to Government to repeal the three farm Laws. Even if we don’t get permission to protest, we will protest peacefully and give our memorandum,” he said.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday attacked the Badals, accusing them of laying the foundation of the Centre’s farm laws over which farmers are protesting for the past several months. The Congress leader alleged that one of the Centre’s laws is a “photostat copy” of the Punjab Contract Farming Act, 2013 enacted during the previous SAD-BJP government led by Parkash Singh Badal.
Responding to Sidhu’s statement, Chandumajra said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu should not talk old things, if we talk about old things, Chief Minister and the Government of Punjab came to know about these farm bills first, when the Centre was taking the views of state governments, on which they did not raise any objection. Amrinder Singh’s government supported the bill, the state government just asked the Centre to rethink the state revenue issue.”
He also said, “Shiromani Akali Dal was the only party who voted against the laws in parliament when congress and other parties walked out. This is on record.”