Amritsar: Seeking exemption of GST for langar (free community kitchen) at Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar and other religious places, the workers of a political party and an NGO launched an indefinite stir at Fountain Chowk along the Heritage Street near Sri Darbar Sahib on Monday.
The workers led by Tirunmool party’s state president Manjit Singh, along with other social crusaders including Manmeet Pal Kaur, president of an NGO, forcibly lifted by the police, after Congress MP from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla joined them for half an hour.
As per a report published in Hindustan Times Manjit announced that one worker of the party will remain on hunger strike daily until the government accepts their demand. However, the stir of the party intensified on Tuesday after more organisations joined the protest. Besides, it drew attention of the visitors and devotees who came to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple and they too participated for the cause.
A signature campaign was also launched and supporters of the stir signed on a huge white board put up on one side of the stage.
On third day, MP Gurjit Singh Aujla also joined the stir around 10.50 am. Showing solidarity with the cause of the protesters and cornering the BJP-led Union government on the issue, he sat with the agitators for around 20 minutes.
Soon after Aujla left, the DC came to meet the protesters at 11.30 am and asked them to lift the protest citing that they did not have the permission of undertaking the strike at the spot. However, the protesters refused to do so, Hindustan Times notes.
The DC then ordered the police to lift the protesters. On his order, assistant commissioner of police (ACP-central) Narinder Singh and station house officer (SHO) of Kotwali Police Station Rajwinder Kaur forcibly detained the activists.
Till the filling of this report, five protesters — Manjit Singh, Bhupinder Singh Nagra, Baljit Singh, Kulbir Singh and Manmeet Pal Kaur — were taken into police custody.
SHO Rajwinder Kaur said the fasting activists have been put on preventive detention under Section 107/151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
“It was not a place to protest. Only two places n the city, Ranjit Avenue ground and New Amritsar ground, are meant for such activities. The protesters were causing obstacles to the visitors passing from the Heritage Street, so they were detained,” she added.