Pro-Amritpal Singh rally taken out in Raipur; CM Baghel orders probe

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bhupesh baghel Chhattisgarh Assembly

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said police will probe a rally held in capital Raipur a day earlier allegedly in support of wanted pro-Khalistan preacher Amritpal Singh.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel told the Assembly that anti-national activities would not be tolerated in the state and asked police to examine video footage of the rally and take action accordingly.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, the BJP alleged the law and order situation in the state was deteriorating under Baghel, with the saffron party's MLAs Ajay Chandrakar and Brijmohan Agrawal also targeting police for intelligence failure over the rally being held.

The BJP legislators sought a discussion in the House on the law and order situation, while state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ravindra Choubey countered them asserting anyone indulging in anti-national activities will not be spared.

After the Chair rejected the opposition's demand for a discussion, BJP members started sloganeering leading to the adjournment of proceedings for five minutes.

After the proceedings resumed, BJP legislators again raised the issue following which minister Choubey said the CM will give a statement on the rally later in the House.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Kuldeep Juneja, who hails from the Sikh community, denied the rally was taken out in support of Khalistan.

Later, delivering his statement in the House, the CM said around 30-35 people took out a foot march raising slogans from Telibandha area (on Wednesday) and he has directed police to examine the video footage of it.

Action will be taken if anyone is found raising anti-national slogans in the footage, the CM added.

As far as the Sikh community is concerned, their sacrifices for the country cannot be forgotten but anti-national activities will not be allowed to take place, Baghel asserted.

Subsequently, BJP MLA Ajay Chandrakar said the CM's statement should be considered as a resolution and must be passed in the House with voice vote.

Chandrakar's colleague Brijmohan Agrawal said the rally had maligned the image of Chhattisgarh.

Speaker Charandas Mahant said he had allowed the statement as a resolution in the House.

On Wednesday, a rally was taken out allegedly in support of Amritpal Singh, after which police served notice to the organisers. They have been asked to furnish their replies at Civil Lines police station on Thursday.

Diler Singh, a member of Baba Budha Saheb Committee, who was part of the rally, had told media persons Amritpal Singh was innocent and accused the Punjab government of falsely implicating him.

Diler Singh had claimed Amritpal Singh was fighting against addiction and was uniting youth through religion.

However, a video of Diler Singh, which was shared by police on Thursday, showed him claiming he had been misreported and that some persons were spreading propaganda that the rally was taken out in support of Khalistan.

He said the rally was held against the “illegal” action being taken against Sikhs in Punjab.

"We live in Chhattisgarh and love the people of Chhattisgarh. We respect every religion. We don't want Khalistan and have nothing to do with it. We only talk about Sikhism and we raise our voice for Sikhs. It is our responsibility and right to raise the issue of our community," he added.

Police action began in Punjab last week against radical preacher Amritpal Singh, who heads 'Waris Punjab De' organisation, leading to several arrests, though he continues to remain elusive.