SAD takes out protest march against farm laws in Delhi; Sukhbir Singh Badal, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, others detained



NEW DELHI: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal were detained by the Delhi Police on Friday as they led a protest march in the national capital to mark the first anniversary of the passage of three contentious farm laws.

The SAD, which walked out of the ruling coalition at the Centre last year over the farm laws, is observing September 17 as Black Day.

The protest march was taken out from Gurudwara Rakab Ganj to the Parliament House.

“The protest march today not only symbolises the farmers’ dissent but will also be remembered as a historic event that struck at the root of tyranny. Let’s unite to mark this day as the beginning of a renewed revolt to bring justice for farmers,” the SAD president tweeted.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav said SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal along with 15 other party leaders have been detained at Parliament Street police station.

According to the police, the leaders were detained for taking out the protest march in violation of COVID-19 guidelines.

They were subsequently released.

The protest march led to massive traffic snarls in several parts of the national capital, including Lutyens’ Delhi and ITO.

Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who resigned from the government last year over the farm laws, said in a tweet that the massive participation in the protest march shows the public anger.

“Farmers have been protesting at the Delhi border for a year, but the Centre is keen on quashing them. We are proud to have quit the NDA. Akali Dal will continue to resist despotism,” she added.

Alleging that the Delhi Police tried to stop their protest march, SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said, “It is an undeclared emergency in New Delhi.”

A section of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, has been protesting at Delhi border points against the Centre’s three farm laws for over nine months now.

The protesting farmers have been demanding the repeal of the laws which they feel will do away with the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

The government has insisted that these laws have given farmers a new opportunity to sell their produce and rejected claims that they are aimed at doing away with the minimum support price regime and farm mandis.

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