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Parkash Singh Badal built a ‘beautiful jail’ for Akalis, himself | Ludhiana News – Times of India


LUDHIANA: When he was laying the foundation of Ludhiana central jail in 1978, Parkash Singh must have had an inkling of the fate awaiting him – that he would be among the first few inmates of the same prison a few years later.”Akaliyan nu jail bohat jana painda, islai asi sohnian jaillan bana ditiyan’ (Akalis have to go to jail often. Therefore, we have built beautiful jails),” Badal, the patron of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and five-time chief minister, had said in lighter vein while laying the foundation stone of the facility. Badal was lodged in Tajpur Road jail for about two months, which is now called Borstal jail, under charges of 107-151 of CrPC, as he was arrested for protesting against SYL (Satluj-Yamuna link) canal. He was lodged there on August 5, 1982, and was released on October 10, 1982.An SAD leader from Ludhiana, Maheshinder Singh Grewal, recalled that later on in 1982, Dharam Yudh Morcha was launched by the Shiromani Akali Dal to protest against SYL, at first in Kapoori village and then in Amritsar. Badal “was protesting in Amritsar and he was arrested there, and later on shifted to Ludhiana jail, construction of which was started by him only”. “I used to visit him every Sunday in the jail with home-cooked food,” he said. “I still remember when Badal Sahab used to laugh while saying that he is constructing beautiful jails as Akalis often are lodged in jail, as we agitate against injustice,” added Grewal. Prior to this, during Emergency, Badal was lodged in Ludhiana jail which was located in Ludhiana’s Old City part, from July 18, 1975, to September 23, 1975. After 1982 also, Badal was lodged in Tajpur Road jail from August 28, 1992, to September 1, 1992. There was another time he went to jail. Grewal said that in December 1992, the then jathedar of Akal Takht, Gurdev Singh Kaunke, of Jagraon’s Kaunke Kalan area, had disappeared days after he was arrested by the police. “Parkash Singh Badal had staged a protest against police over the disappearance of jathedar. He was arrested and lodged again in Ludhiana jail from January 1 to 13, 1993,” he said.

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