Ahead of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann’s visit to Sidhu Moosewala’s family, angry villagers protest, force AAP MLA to return
Sidhu Moosewala death: Villagers angry about heightened security at Moosa village. Senior police officials rush to the spot to pacify them
Hours before Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s scheduled visit to singer-politician Sidhu Moosewala’s family at Moosa village in Mansa, angry villagers on Friday came out on the streets, protesting the high security arrangements that were put in place and forced Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Gurpreet Singh Banawali to apologise and return from the village.
Ahead of Mann’s visit, the Punjab police had turned Moosa village into a fortress, restricting all movement. Villagers were also stopped from entering Moosewala’s house. The heightened security had angered the villagers, who started protesting, raising slogans against the Punjab government and chief minister Mann.
On Friday morning, villagers refused to let local AAP MLA Banawali enter the village. “I respect you but you must go back today,” a villager told the MLA, even as others started jostling him.
Senior officials, including Mansa Senior Superintendent of Police Gurav Toora and Mansa Deputy Commissioner, rushed to the village to pacify the villagers even as the administration relaxed some security measures.
“The government failed to provide security to Sidhu Moosewala but now they have turned the village into a fortress,” said Balwant Singh.
Meanwhile, AAP blamed Congress for the protests. “Congress is playing dirty politics. Congress’s ex-MLA is creating a scene at the village. Punjab is watching. They have been playing politics over the death of a shining star,” a party statement said. “The Punjab CM is performing his responsibility by visiting Moosewala’s family to pay condolences,” it added.