Bhartiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur) Muktsar president Sukhdev Singh and six others on Sunday were booked for attempting to murder Punjab’s lone BJP MLA Arun Narang at Malout town, where he was beaten up and his clothes were torn by farm activists protesting against the Centre’s farm laws.
Though the BJP did not lodge a police complaint after the incident, Abohar MLA Narang said he will take up the matter with the party high command before taking any legal action.
Amid widespread condemnation of the incident, the case was registered on the complaint of Muktsar superintendent of police (SP) Gurmail Singh against Muktsar BKU (Sidhupur) president Sukhdev Singh, block president Lakhan Pal Sharma, general secretary Nirmal Singh besides activists Nanak Singh, Kulwinder Singh Danewala, Rajinder Singh, Avtar Singh, all residents of Muktsar district and 300 unidentified persons under Sections 307, 353, 186, 188, 332, 342, 506, 148 and 149 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Malout police station.
Police have arrested some persons involved in the incident but refused to give details. Narang’s statement was also recorded by the police on Sunday. Deputy superintendent of police Jaspal Singh said that they had contacted Narang and other BJP leaders twice on Saturday, but no complaint was filed by them. “A case was registered on the complaint of SP Gurmail Singh, who also sustained injuries in the attack. We have recorded Narang’s statement today. Some persons have been arrested in connection with this case. BKU leaders are on the run. Raids are on to arrest them,” he added.
BJP leaders were warned of volatile situation: SP
Narang was to address a press conference at the BJP office in Malout on National Highway 7 on the Congress government’s four-year performance. However, farm union activists laid siege to the office, demanding the withdrawal of the BJP-led Centre’s three farm laws.
In his statement, SP Gurmail Singh said: “I was appointed security in-charge for the event. Around 3pm, Lakhan Pal Sharma and Nirmal Singh led 250-300 unidentified persons to protest in front of the BJP office. After assessing the situation, I sent an SMS to Muktsar BJP chief Rajesh Pathela and Malout BJP president Sita Ram, informing them not to come to the office due to security reasons. I requested them to change the venue of the programme. Yet Narang, along with the others, reached the BJP office but when he tried to enter it, the protesters strongly opposed him and the police took them inside a shop.”
He said: “The MLA was continuously updated about the situation and we informed the control room to send additional force. Meanwhile, the number of protesters started rising. After additional force reached the spot, I talked to the protesters, who assured us that they will return after holding a protest. We informed them that the MLA has cancelled his programme.”
‘Farmers attacked police with intent to murder’
Gurmail Singh said after making necessary arrangements, when the police tried to take the MLA out of the shop, the protesters led by Lakhan Pal and Nirmal Singh, attacked Narang and other BJP leaders. “The police tried to save the BJP leaders, but the protesters attacked the police also with the intention to murder. Police personnel, including me, sustained injuries during the incident,” he said.
The SP has been admitted to a hospital at Malout.
The farmers gheraoed and attacked Narang as soon as he reached the BJP office in his car. They tore his clothes when police personnel and BJP workers were trying to escort him to safety in a shop. The protesters painted Narang’s car with black ink. Later, the police took the BJP leaders to a safer place through the back door of the shop.
The protesters also ransacked the BJP’s party office.