Sukhbir Badal Detained Outside Amarinder’s House During Protests
SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal was leading protests against the alleged vaccine sale row and SC scholarship scams.
Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal was on Tuesday, 15 June, detained by the Punjab Police during a protest against the state government outside Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s residence in Siswan.
Badal and his party members were protesting to demand the removal of health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged irregularities in the sale of vaccines and procurement of medical kits for COVID-19 patients.
The protests were also to demand that land acquisition for national highways be done on market rates and displacement compensation be offered to the affected landowners. The protesters also demanded a probe into the alleged post-matric scholarship studies for Dalit students.
“There is a scam in COVID-19 vaccination, there is a scam in Fateh Kit, there is a scam in SC scholarship. Farmers’ land is being acquired,” Badal said before being detained, reported The Times of India.
On 9 June, party spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema had said that the vaccine and Fateh Kit scams had shaken the conscience of Punjab.
What’s the Alleged Vaccine Scam?
Badal on 3 June had demanded a high court-monitored probe into the manner in which the Congress government in Punjab was allegedly creating an artificial shortage of vaccines by selling doses at a hefty profit to private hospitals.
The SAD president had said that a case should be registered against Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu for diverting vaccines meant for the common people to private institutions, news agency IANS reported.
Badal condemned Chief Secretary Vinni Mahajan for taking on the role of a marketing director of private institutions by tweeting that people should get themselves vaccinated at two private institutions at inflated rates.
“This amounts to a cost of Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 per family for a single dose,” he said, reported IANS.
The SAD president said the government was also punishing the people by forcing them to cough up Rs 1,560 per dose during a time of economic slowdown.
“Instead of dismissing the health minister, Captain Amarinder Singh is shielding him and trying to silence the opposition by registering cases against senior Akali leaders for holding a peaceful and democratic protest to demand justice in the case,” Cheema had said on 9 June, reported Hindustan Times.
On 7 June, Badal, along with hundreds of party leaders and workers had gathered for a protest near the health minister’s house in Mohali, following which, they were booked for violating COVID-19 norms on the orders of CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
(With inputs from IANS, The Times of India, and Hindustan Times.)
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