Punjab's radical preacher Amritpal Singh, who was at the centre of a massive protest against the arrest of his key aide, has blamed the Punjab Police for the violence in Amritsar on Thursday.
Often escorted by armed supporters, the radical preacher and Khalistan sympathiser has been active for some time in Punjab.
Mr Singh heads "Waris Punjab De", a radical organisation started by actor and activist Deep Sidhu, who died in a road accident in February last year.
He alleged the police filed a "false case" against his aide Lovepreet Singh aka Toofan Singh, so he and hundreds of "Waris Punjab De" supporters went to meet the police at Amritsar's Ajnala, where Lovepreet Singh was kept.
"The media is misrepresenting the whole issue. A false FIR (first information report) was filed against Lovepreet Singh. The police stopped our vehicles before they launched a lathi-charge," Mr Singh told NDTV. "The violence wouldn't have happened if the police had not lathi-charged people," he added.
He denied allegations that he took refuge from police action using the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.
"Wherever we go, the palanquin of Guru Granth Sahib moves ahead," Mr Singh said.
"I went inside the police station and told them to arrest me. A wrong FIR was filed against us. I had requested them to close the FIR within a week, after which I went to the police station," Mr Singh said.
On the Punjab Police's planned action against them, Mr Singh said the cycle of protest will repeat if the cops move in. He denied he's giving a threat. "Remember, we are talking about a fake FIR," Mr Singh said, adding the year-long protest by farmers against the now scrapped farm laws is a case in point.
His aide and kidnapping accused Lovepreet Singh walked out of a jail yesterday, following the protests by Waris Punjab De supporters.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today slammed Mr Singh over taking the holy book to the police station, saying the radical preacher's argument makes no sense. "Those who take the Guru Granth Sahib to a police station as a shield cannot be called waris (heir) of Punjab and Punjabiyat in any way," Mr Mann tweeted in Punjabi.