Patiala: Activists of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Amritsar) today raised pro-Khalistan slogans during an address by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who cautioned against attempts to foment sectarian divide and fanaticism.

The Chief Minister was presiding a function for installation of chair of Bhagwan Parshu Ram at the Punjabi University. Two persons of SAD-A, identified as Sarup Singh Sandha and Rajindr Singh Channa, raised pro-Khalistan and anti- Badal slogans during the chief minister’s speech. Police swiftly took them into custody and whisked them away. Later, speaking to reporters about the incident, the Chief Minister said such elements should not be given attention. Addressing the function, Badal said, “No society can survive for long if it forgets its culture and rich traditional values.”

However, he also warned those “cultivating fanaticism”. “To sustain sectarian values or cultivate fanaticism is dangerous not only for others but also for those who promote its cause,” Badal said. Inaugurating the ‘Bhagwan Parshuram Chair for Indian Literature and Culture’ in Punjabi University’s Department of Hindi here, he said Bhagwan Parshuram or anyone of his stature cannot be restricted to a single community, caste or creed as they belong to the entire humanity. Badal also favoured a Rs 200-crore memorial in memory of Swami Ram Tirath and a multi-crore war memorial near Amritsar.