‘Preventive measure’ to stop him from visiting Patna
Ravi Dhaliwal, Tribune News Service
Batala, 1 January 2016. Sikh religious preacher and radical Baljit Singh Daduwal was arrested by the Batala police from Qadian after he allegedly delivered a provoking speech against the SAD government at a public function held at Thikriwal village, 5 km from Qadian, today.
Daduwal was ‘appointed’ Jathedar of the Takht Damdama Sahib at a Sarbat Khalsa held at Chaba village in Tarn Taran on November 10, 2015.
However, the police and eyewitnesses gave conflicting versions. The police say he was arrested after he could not satisfactorily reply to some questions put to him by the Qadian SHO at a check post. However, eyewitnesses say he was picked up from his Qadian residence. Daduwal’s accomplice Jagmeet Singh too was arrested.
Sources say the cops bypassed the mandatory medical examination and sent him directly to the Gurdaspur jail amid high security after registering a case at the Qadian police station under Section 107/51 of the IPC (when a person is likely to commit breach of peace or disturb public tranquility).
However, Batala SSP Manmohan Sharma said the medical examination was conducted.
An officer said Daduwal had been taken into preventive custody as he was to go to Patna to attend the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh.
“Apprehending that he may cause disturbance in Patna, senior officers decided to arrest him here in Punjab itself,” he added.
At the Thikriwala congregation, Daduwal is said to have lashed out against Cabinet Minister Sikander Singh Maluka for indulging in a blasphemous act recently. He also spoke against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal saying, “He was responsible for giving shelter to people like Maluka who were doing injustice to the Sikh community.”
Daduwal, before being taken to jail, managed to record an audio in which he said, “The Badal government is giving a New Year’s gift to the Sikhs by arresting people like me.”
Sources say Daduwal, two days ago, held a meeting at the Akal Takht with radicals Dhyan Singh Mand and Jathedar Amrik Singh, where it was decided to ask “Maluka to be present at the Akal Takht on January 9 to clarify his position”.