A legislator of the opposition Congress resigned from the Punjab assembly on Sunday to protest against “deteriorating” law and order in the state.
Ramanjit Singh Sikki, MLA from Khadur Sahib assembly segment in Tarn Taran district, sent his resignation to the assembly speaker, party sources said.
Sikki, in his resignation letter, said he was upset over the desecration of the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib, which led to protests and violence in Punjab.
He accused the Akali Dal-BJP government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of “failing to maintain law and order in the state”.
Hundreds of people protesting the alleged desecration of a ‘bir’ of holy Guru Granth Sahib clashed with police on 13 October in Kotkapura town in Faridkot district of Punjab.
Police rounded up nearly 200 protestors but released them later, as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal urged the people to remain calm.
Opposition parties have criticised the Badal government blaming it for the deterioration in law and order situation in Punjab. Congress has demanded the imposition of the President’s rule.
Tension mounted in Kotkapura area on Monday after over 100 pages of the Sikh holy book were found scattered in a street near a gurdwara in Bargari village, 15 km from Kotkapura. Some pages were reportedly pasted on the wall with provocative messages written underneath.
Angry people that included Sikhs, Hindus and even Muslims, protested and demanded that police take action against those who had desecrated the holy book.
The protesters created blockades on the main road. However, on police’s insistence, they removed the blockades of the main road and moved to a side road. According to local residents, it was simply a peaceful sit-in protest, where the they would spend most of their time holding japs (recitation of holy scriptures).
At least two people (Gurjeeet Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh) were killed and nearly 70 injured, including police officials, on Wednesday in bloody clashes between police and Sikhs protesting against the desecration of the holy book, near Kotkapura town in Punjab’s Faridkot district, 230 km from here.
Gurjeet had gone to help volunteers organisers langar (communal free kitchen) , to feed the protesters. Hours later, his dead body returned home. Singh was allegedly shot dead in front of his father.
Locals say that this was the second instance of state government’s insensitivity towards the Sikhs’ religious sentiments as. almost four months ago, they had complained of mysterious disappearance of the Guru Garanth Sahib from the local gurudwara, but the police allegedly ignored the complaint.