Activists protest ‘bhangra’ statues on heritage street - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Activists protest ‘bhangra’ statues on heritage street

Activists protest ‘bhangra’ statues on heritage street

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 1

The “bhangra” dance diorama set up on the pedestrian path on the heritage street here leading to the Golden Temple has not gone down well with a group of Sikhs.

Holding banners, several activists of the Himmat-e-Khalsa, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee, Akal Khalsa Dal and Jatha Sirlath Khalsa took to streets on Sunday, demanding removal of the statues installed near Dharam Singh Market. They claimed the statues were not commensurate with the Sikh rehat maryada.

There was ruckus when the police prevented the protesters from approaching the heritage street, where they wanted to stage a peaceful protest. Later, some activists were detained but they were later let off.

They said the administration and the police backed out from their earlier commitment to let them protest in a peaceful manner near the “bhangra” statues, but did not let them go beyond Sheran Wala Gate.

Sikh activist Avtar Singh said that a day earlier, they met police and administrative officials and apprised them of the proposed protest. “Cops allowed us to hold a peaceful protest. Today, we were to recite Japji Sahib path followed by ardas near the objectionable statues to sensitise the authorities that these were against the Sikh maryada and must be removed. We would have left the place in an hour or so. But, when we were on our way to the heritage street, the police stopped us from moving forward. If the administration does not remove the statues within 15 days, we will step up our agitation,” he said.

Satkar committee head Balbir Singh Muchchal said some of the activists managed to reach the heritage street but they were detained and shifted to an unidentified place. “They were released later, but the police misbehaved with them, little realising that a six-year-old girl was also among them,” he said.

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