The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal said on Friday that detaining protesting families of debt-ridden farmers who have committed suicide amounts to murder of democracy. Badal went to the Sector 3 police station in solidarity with those detained. They were allegedly beaten and forcibly removed from the residence of Finance Minister Manpreet Badal on Friday morning, for their continuous protests.
"Such an incident has never happened in the history of the State. It is the murder of democracy", Prakash Badal said.
The SAD leader said that the families of those farmers who had committed suicide wanted to speak with the Finance Minister. They wanted clarity about the Congress state government's commitment to providing government jobs to one member from each of the bereaved families along with a compensation of Rs 10 lakh in the State budget.
"The Finance Minister could have come out and taken their representation. Instead of doing so, he let loose the police force on them," Prakash added.
Condemning the behaviour of the Chandigarh police towards the victims' families which included handicapped persons, women, and young children as well as SAD legislators, Prakash Badal said that the police action was "unprecedented and against all principles of democracy." The SAD patron also criticised the polices' rough, physical altercation and misbehaviour with SAD legislators.
Ahead of the Punjab government presenting its budget in the State Assembly on Friday, the SAD MLAs joined the protest carried outside the residence of Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal. A large number of people joined the protests launched by families of debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide during the Congress regime, as it failed to fulfil the promise of a complete farm loan waiver.
Police were deployed at the protest site to prevent any untoward incident. The demonstration was preventing Badal from stepping outside his residence to present the budgetary proposals for the financial year 2020-21. The Police were later directed to detain the protestors to ensure smooth budget session.
(With inputs from ANI)