Thursday in the Legislative Assembly, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced that appropriate action would be taken against a minor Sikh protest demonstration held in Raipur allegedly in favour of Waris Punjab De head Amritpal Singh. After the BJP addressed the issue in the Legislature, Baghel responded.
“The protest demonstration was held without police authorization. The sacrifices done by the Sikh community on behalf of our nation cannot be forgotten. The case is being investigated by the police, and the right measures will be taken,” stated Baghel.
Former chief minister Raman Singh, former ministers Ajay Chandrakar, Brijmohan Agrawal, and opposition leader Narayan Chandel demanded a response from Baghel on the protest.
“Antinational activities are prohibited in Chhattisgarh. “The Chief Minister is monitoring the situation,” stated Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Congress leader Ravindra Choubey.
The BJP subsequently requested an adjournment on the “Khalistani problem” and demanded a statement from Baghel. Following Deputy Speaker Santram Netam’s denial, the BJP leaders caused a commotion, compelling Netam to adjourn the Assembly for five minutes. Following the adjournment, Baghel addressed the problem.
On Wednesday afternoon, approximately thirty members of the Sikh community marched from a gurudwara in the Telibandha neighbourhood to the nearby office of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to protest the arrests of individuals in Punjab under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) as part of the crackdown on Amritpal Singh’s associates.
A Sikh leader who led the rally stressed that his group “does not promote Khalistan” and has no comment on Amritpal Singh. “We do not support the concept of Khalistan. The rally was unrelated to Khalistan. The protest was against the unjust provisions of the NSA that made innocent Sikhs appear to be terrorists. They have been sent behind bars and will languish in prison for an extended period of time. We are opposing the Punjabi government’s detention of innocent Sikhs. In Punjab, the perception is fostered that only terrorist acts occur there. Diler Singh, a member of Baba Budha Sahib Gurudwara in Telibandha who organised the rally, said, “Therefore, we are demonstrating against AAP.”
While Diler told The Indian Express on Wednesday evening that the rally was not in support of Amritpal Singh, a claimed video of the protest showed the group chanting in support of Amritpal Singh and Diler advocating for the Waris Punjab Division chief.
“We are opposing the arrest of those ordinary, underprivileged Sikhs who had no connection to him” (Amritpal). We cannot comment on Amritpal because we lack information about him. The demonstration was not directed towards Amritpal… I have lived in Raipur for thirty to thirty-five years and have always worked to benefit society. We are only demonstrating our support for our Sikh community, added Diler.
The demonstrators have received a warning from the Raipur police asking how they staged a demonstration without permission. “We have given notice on them. We shall conduct an investigation to determine whether the protest was in favour of Amritpal. “No FIR has been filed as of yet,” stated a police official.
Commenting about the situation in Punjab, Baghel criticised the AAP government led by Bhagwant Mann. “It is terribly regrettable. Punjab became tranquil after a great deal of difficulty and the loss of countless lives. Since the formation of the current government, however, the situation there has been steadily deteriorating. Being a border state, such occurrences cannot be overlooked,” added Baghel.