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Posted at: Aug 24, 2019, 6:06 PM; last updated: Aug 24, 2019, 8:36 PM (IST)

Ludhiana MLA Bains leads protest march in Phagwara against Ravidas temple demolition

Ludhiana MLA Bains leads protest march in Phagwara against Ravidas temple demolition
Ludhiana MLA Simarjit Singh Bains fainted during the protest. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service
Phagwara, August 24

Tension prevailed in Phagwara on Saturday when hundreds of Dalit activists led by Lok Insaaf Party chief and Ludhiana MLA Simarjit Singh Bains held a protest march against the demolition of the Ravidas temple in Delhi.

The march, which originated from Sri Guru Ravidas Mandir, proceeded towards the residence of Union Minister of State Som Parkash in Urban Estate area of the city on Saturday.

They were demanding resignation of the minister and also raised slogans against the Union government.

The protesters were demanding either the minister declare the date for construction of the temple in Tuglkabad area of Delhi or resign from the BJP government. 

The police had to face tough time to control the protesters who were stopped around 200 metres away from the minister’s residence.

They strongly condemned the police action on Dalits in Delhi on August 21. The protesters then submitted a memorandum to local SDM Jai Inder Singh before lifting the dharna.

Meanwhile, Simarjit Singh Bains collapsed due to exhaustion after taking part in a 7-km protest march and a dharna under a blazing sun for over an hour. 

It was a hot and humid day in Phagwara and the legislator was exhausted by the protest march and dharna amid continuous sloganeering, eyewitness accounts said.

The moment Bains fell unconscious, supporters removed his shoes, massaged his feet and fanned him with impromptu hand-fans made from cardboards to revive him, they said.

He was taken to the PWD rest house, where a team of doctors of the Civil Hospital inspected his vitals and administered him an oral rehydration solution (ORS) and first-aid.

Bains had collapsed while speaking to the media after the protest that lasted for two-and-a-half hours.

After recovering, the legislator addressed the media at the rest house and left for Ludhiana.

He was participating in a protest organised by Jarnail Nangal, state president of the LIP’s SC wing, against the demolition of the Ravidas temple in Delhi and police action on protesters on August 21.

Superintendent of Police Manpreet Singh Dhillon confirmed that Bains had fallen sick due to excessive heat and exhaustion.

He was alright after sometime, Dhillon said. 

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