Punjab CM appeals to Behbal Kalan protesters to lift blockade on Amritsar-Bathinda highway
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann today appealed to protesters to lift the blockade at Behbal Kalan on the Amritsar-Bathinda national highway (NH-54) as the agitation against the slow pace of probe in the 2015 sacrilege and police firing incidents entered its sixth day. State agriculture minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal will be arriving to meet the protesters at Behbal Kalan today evening.
The protesters, including family members of the firing victims and Sikh organisations, have been protesting on the highway against the slow pace of investigation and delay in court proceedings in the sacrilege and police firing cases. The protesters have accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of not fulfilling its promise to bring the perpetrators of the police firing to book within the given deadline.
In a tweet, chief minister Mann said: “The Punjab government is committed to providing justice in the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing cases. I appeal to the protesters to lift the blockade from the highway so that commuters are not inconvenienced. It is the duty and responsibility of the government to ensure quick justice by punishing the accused.”
Despite attempts by the district administration and police, the protesters have refused to lift the blockade until the state government takes a concrete step to bring the sacrilege and police firing cases to a logical conclusion.
Two Sikh protesters, Gurjeet Singh of Sarawan village and Krishan Bhagwan Singh of Niamiwala village in Faridkot district, were killed on October 14, 2015, when they along with others, were protesting against a series of sacrilege incidents in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala.
Krishan Bhagwan’s son Sukhraj Singh, who has been on dharna seeking justice for the past 424 days at Behbal Kalan bus stop, said: “We are not moving from here on any verbal assurance. We want to see action not talks. We will give a statement on the chief minister’s appeal after discussing it with everyone at the morcha.”