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Under fire over Ranjit panel report, Akali Dal to hold statewide protest on September 1

Under fire over the Ranjit Singh panel report, the embattled Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday decided to hit the streets by holding statewide protests on Saturday against the ruling Congress and its “collaborators”, radical leaders and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in the alleged conspiracy to defame the party.

It has also planned a rally in Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar’s hometown Abohar on September 9.

Responding to the Congress challenge that Akali leaders would not be allowed to enter the villages, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, while addressing a meeting of party legislators, constituency in-charges and district observers in Chandigarh, said the party would give a befitting reply to the conspiracy to weaken Sikh institutions.

“Protests will be organised in all 117 assembly constituencies where effigies of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Jakhar will be burnt,” he said.

The party has rejected the state government’s move to take back probe into sacrilege incidents of Guru Granth Sahib and police firing at protesters from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and set up a special investigation team (SIT) instead to conduct the inquiry.

“The CBI should probe the matter,” Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia told a TV channel. The state assembly had on Tuesday passed a resolution to take back the probe from CBI and hand it over to SIT.

Former minister Daljit Singh Cheema said the party would expose Jakhar who was trying his best to instigate violence against Akali leaders and take the state back to the dark era of terrorism.

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