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Mann injured in clash with SAD (Badal) supporters

Written by: Staff

Kathunangal, Amritsar, Oct 25 (UNI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann was injured in a clash between his supporters and the SAD (Badal) and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) officials at a function here today, police sources said.

According to the police, seven other supporters of Mr Mann also sustained injuries. They were all rushed to hospitals in Amritsar.

Mr Mann who was attacked with 'kirpans' by members of the SGPC task force and was later pelted with stones sustained minor injuries. He was admitted in a hospital at Amritsar and later after first aid was discharged.

Police sources said the clash took place inside the premises of the historic gurdwara of Baba Buddha Sahib on the occasion of the 500th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Buddha at this village on the Amritsar-Pathankot national highway.

The village is the birthplace of Baba Buddha, who was the first Head Granthi (priest) of the Harmandir Sahib, during the period of the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev.

According to police sources, the clash occurred when Mr Mann and his supporters were stopped by the SGPC task force from attending the birth anniversary function organised by the SAD (Badal) and the SGPC. Mr Mann and his supporters insisted on moving towards the platform on which were seated former Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala, BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and a number of other senior leaders.

A verbal duel ensued between the Task Force and SAD (Badal) supporters on the one hand and Mr Mann on the other. At this stage supporters of both the groups drew out their swords and advanced at each other.

SAD (Badal) activists also pelted Mr Mann and his supporters with stones. Mr Mann, a former MP from Sangrur and brother-in-law of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, was hit by several stones and he immediately collapsed. While eye-witnesses said that the former MP was hit by a sword, the police denied this version and claimed that he was hit by stones thrown by the rival Akali group.

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