A Youth Akali Dal leader on Tuesday was arrested for allegedly vandalising the statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in Ludhiana, Punjab. Out of the two accused men, police said they have arrested Youth Akali Dal leader Gurdip Singh Gosha while another person, identified as Meet Pal Singh Dugri, will be nabbed soon. According to police, six to seven people were accompanying the two accused persons and they too will be identified soon.
The miscreants sprayed red and black paint on the statue at the Salem Tabri area in Ludhiana, police said, adding that they carried out the act in full public glare and blamed Rajiv Gandhi for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
A video purportedly showing the entire episode has also gone viral on social media. The incident also triggered strong protests by Congress supporters at various places in the state. The protesters threw black paint on posters of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Strongly condemning the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked Sukhbir Singh Badal to stop indulging in petty politics and warned him that such acts would backfire on his party in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
"Indulgence in such petty and condemnable actions will not absolve you or your family of the many sins of omission and commission against the Guru Granth Sahib and the Sikh community," he said in a statement issued here.
"They are well aware of the fact that the Gandhis were never named or implicated in the 1984 riots, yet they continued to drag the family into the case to further their own political agenda," the chief minister said. He said he would not let the state's hard-earned peace be disturbed by anyone.
Lashing out at the Akalis, he said in their desperation to win public support, "which the party had completely lost due to its criminal acts of commission and omission in the 10 years of SAD-BJP rule, the Badals and their supporters were stooping to abominable levels".
"Sajjan Kumar had already been sentenced to life term by the court and others involved in the perpetration of the riots would also face legal action," Amarinder Singh added.
The SAD has stepped up attack on the Gandhi family after the conviction of Sajjan Kumar. On Saturday, the party had demanded that a special sitting of the Punjab Assembly be convened to pass a resolution for revocation of Rajiv Gandhi's Bharat Ratna.