Pro-Khalistan slogans were found written on a wall outside a temple in Sangrur on Monday morning, even as security has been beefed up ahead of the Lok Sabha byelection scheduled on Thursday
Pro-Khalistan slogans were found written on a wall outside a temple in Sangrur on Monday morning, even as security has been beefed up ahead of the Lok Sabha byelection scheduled on Thursday. This is fourth such incident reported in Punjab in just over a month.
The Sangrur police have booked Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, co-founder and legal adviser of the banned US-based Khalistani organisation Sikhs for Justice, under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, after his purported video claiming responsibility for the incident surfaced on the social media.
Senior superintendent of police, Sangrur, Mandeep Singh said that slogans calling for a referendum on Khalistan, were written using a black spray on the rear wall and a gate of Kali Mata Mandir on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. After the incident came to light, police covered the slogans with a fresh coat of paint.
“We have registered a case under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion,race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) and 18 (punishment for conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and Section 3 (penalty for defacement of property) of the Punjab Prevention of Defacement to Public Property Act against Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and unknown persons at the Sangrur City police station,” said the SSP.
The incident comes at a time when 23 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces and eight of the state police have been deployed across the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency, and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann along with his Delhi counterpart and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal was set to take out a road show in the evening to campaign for the byelection.
Earlier, similar slogans were found scrawled on a wall in front of a judge’s residence in Faridkot on May 13 and on the boundary wall of the divisional railway manager’s office in Ferozepur on June 13. Most recently, pro-Khalistan slogans were found written on a wall near a temple and on a movie hoarding along a highway in Jalandhar, hours before Kejriwal and Mann’s arrival for a public event on June 15. Similar slogans have also been reported in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, most recently outside two educational institutes in Karnal on Sunday.