Cong MLA, 70 others arrested in Punjab

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Kapurthala, Oct 12 (UNI) Police today arrested Bholath Congress MLA, Sukhpal Singh Khaira along with about 70 of his supporters when he tried to prevent former SGPC chief and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, Bibi Jagir Kaur from ''Relaying'' a water supply foundation stone at Akbarpur village.

He and his supporters were taken into custody under section 107/151 CrPC on the charge of breach of peace. This is the second time that Mr Khaira was arrested since the SAD-BJP came to power in March last year.

DSP Mohinder Singh, who was supervising the security arrangements at the village, confirmed the arrest. He said they give inflammatory speeches in the village and blocked the link road to Akbarpur.

After the arrest, Mr Khaira alongwith his supporters, was taken in two buses to different police stations. They would be produced before a duty magistrate later. Mr Khaira had defeated Bibi Jagir Kaur in the last assembly polls from Bholath.

The Congress alongwith his supporters had assembled at Akbarpur in the morning to protest against the relaying of the foundation stone by Bibi Jagir Kaur. A large number of Akali workers and supporters of Bibi Jagir Kaur had also assembled at the village and both the sides started raising slogans against each other before the foundation laying ceremony.

As the atmosphere became tense the police in order to prevent a possible clash between the two sides arrested Mr Khaira and his supporters.

He had yesterday in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner urged the district administration to prevent the relaying of foundation stone of the water supply scheme as he himself had done so in 2006.

He alleged that the present village sarpanch, Gurbachan Singh had damaged the foundation stone laid by him at the behest of Bibi Jagir Kaur. He demanded the registration of a case against the culprits who had destroyed the foundation stone.

He said the water supply scheme in 32 villages in the Bholath sub division was funded by NABARD, a Central Government agency during the previous Congress regime.

Reacting to the letter of Mr Khaira, Deputy Commissioner J M Balamurugan said no stone of the water supply scheme was 'officially' laid at Akbarpur, so there was no hitch in laying the foundation stone by Bibi Jagir Kaur.

UNI XC-HS SK NS1624

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