Farm Laws | 'Courted Arrest, Won't Back Off': SAD Leaders Detained After Protest

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Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, party leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal and 11 other members of the party were detained and taken to Sansad Marg Police Station, the Delhi Police said on Friday, 17 September. They were, however, later set free, as per IANS.

Taking to Twitter, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that they "will not back off" despite having "courted arrest":

“Courted arrest along with 15 senior leaders of Akali Dal for demanding immediate repeal of black agri laws & to make MSP a legal right of farmers (sic).”

This came after the party took out a protest march from Gurudwara Rakab Ganj in Delhi to the Parliament building, against the Centre's three contentious farm laws.

Before being detained, SAD Chief, Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "Modi government and Haryana government stopped our workers. They resorted to baton charge and broke our vehicles. A peaceful protest was stopped. We've come here to give a message to PM Modi that not only Punjab but the entire country is against his government."

Also Read: 'Words Misinterpreted': Amarinder Singh Defends His Stance on Farmers' Protest

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police said that the protest march being organised by the SAD would not be allowed owing to the threat of the spread of COVID-19, news agency ANI reported.

The police also said that Section 144 had been imposed in the New Delhi district.

Protest March to Mark 1 Year of Farm Laws

"A number of farmers have died and many are still sitting at the state borders but this government is indifferent. We will continue our fight until the three farm laws are repealed," SAD leader and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Friday, as the party led the march to the Parliament building.

On Thursday, ANI had reported that the 'Black Friday Protest March' would be led by party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat Kaur Badal to mark one year of the three farm laws.

"Annadatas work hard to feed us, and Akali Dal won't let BJP succeed in its anti-farmer agenda. Today, thousands of people will be marching from Gurudwara Sri Rakab Ganj Sahib to the Parliament House as a show of public will against the anti-farmer laws," SAD said on Twitter on Friday.

"Few people have gathered here for the protest which is being organised by Shiromani Akali Dal. We are in talks with their leaders and have clearly informed that there is no permission to hold a protest," Deepak Yadav, DCP, New Delhi district, was quoted as saying by ANI on Friday.

The SAD leader took to social media to condemn the sealing of the Delhi borders.

"Strongly condemn Delhi police for sealing entry points to national capital & detaining Akali Dal workers reaching Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib. Receiving phone calls & videos telling how Police trying to foil protest march to Parl against 3 Farm Laws. It's an undeclared EMERGENCY!" she tweeted on Friday.

Also Read: Adverse Impact of Farmers’ Stir: NHRC Sends Notice to Centre, States & Police

Border Closed, Metro Station Entry & Exits Shut

There were reports of vehicular movement being affected at Jhandewalan-Panchkuian road and security personnel's deployment at Delhi's Shankar Road area.

The Delhi Police said on Twitter that the Jharoda Kalan border had been closed using barricades because of the farmers' protest.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation tweeted that the entry and exit for Pandit Shree Ram Sharma and Bahadurgarh City had been closed.

On Thursday, the SAD had said that Punjab-registered vehicles were being stopped from entering the national capital.

"Rakab Ganj Sahib is being cordoned off to stop Punjabis from entering," Shiromani Akali Dal had said, as per ANI.

Meanwhile, some reports on social media suggest that Turban-wearing Sikhs are being stopped from going towards Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in Delhi.

"All Delhi borders have been sealed and Punjab vehicles are being stopped. While all others pass, Punjabis are being told that our entry has been restricted. Our peaceful voices have seemingly scared the powers that be," the SAD had said in a tweet.

SKM Announces Bharat Bandh on 27 September

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of the 40 farmer unions also issued guidelines on Friday, for the Bharat Bandh on 27 September.

SKM asked constituent organisations to appeal to “all sections of society to join hands with farmers, and publicise the bandh well beforehand so that inconvenience to the public may be reduced”.

In a press release, SKM added that the bandh will be peaceful as well as voluntary, and emergency services like ambulances, hospitals, medical services, fire services etc, would be exempted from the bandh.

The bandh will be observed from 6 am to 4 pm with “main banners or themes” like "Bharat Bandh against anti-farmer Modi government”, “Modi brings in Mandi Bandh, farmers take up Bharat Bandh", and so on.

(With inputs from ANI)

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