SAD leader Romana faces multiple cases for protests against government


Parambans Singh Romana, a prominent member of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), is currently behind bars for allegedly sharing a manipulated video that contained disparaging remarks about Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. However, Romana is no stranger to controversy, having been embroiled in multiple FIRs, most of which stem from his involvement in protest activities against various government actions.
The 48-year-old SAD General Secretary’s troubles began on October 26, when he shared a video featuring folk singer Kanwar Grewal, which was later described as “morphed.” Authorities alleged that he disseminated the video with the intention to damage the reputations of CM Mann and AAP’s national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal, for political gain. The SAD condemned Romana’s arrest, characterizing it as an act of political vendetta.
Hailing from Romana village in Faridkot, Romana ran for the Vidhan Sabha in 2017 and 2022 from the Faridkot constituency. In his 2017 election affidavit, he made no mention of any criminal cases. However, in the 2022 affidavit, he listed five pending cases, all stemming from protests against the then Congress government.
In July 2020, Romana and over 100 Akali workers faced charges for violating Covid-19 guidelines during a protest against rising fuel prices. In June 2021, he and several Akali workers were once again booked for flouting Covid norms, this time for protesting outside the residence of the then Health Minister, Balbir Singh Sidhu, over an alleged Covid kit procurement scandal and for proposing the sale of vaccine stocks to private hospitals. The Congress government later withdrew the letter regarding vaccine sales.
Romana also faced legal trouble in January and December 2017 when he was charged with blocking a highway near Baghapurana in Moga during municipal committee polls when Congress and Akali workers clashed.
Additionally, the affidavit cites a 2012 protest on Parliament Street in Delhi against the then UPA government. Notably, no chargesheets have been filed in any of these cases.
Romana, who became President of the Youth Akali Dal at the age of 45, has been a vocal critic of alleged misappropriation in MGNREGA works in Faridkot and surrounding regions during the previous Congress government. The Congress administration had terminated five employees for embezzling funds amounting to Rs 2.5 crore in Faridkot and Ferozepur districts. However, Romana criticized the action as too little, too late.
The most recent case against Romana includes charges under various sections, such as forgery for cheating, forgery for damaging reputation, defamation, and violations of the Information Technology Act.
Romana, known for his close association with SAD President Sukhbir Badal, accused the AAP government of stifling public dissent.