In a highly embarrassing incident on Friday, senior Congress MLA Asha Kumari, who is also AICC in-charge for Punjab, allegedly slapped a woman constable on duty, who in turn slapped her back instantly. The incident took place outside the Congress office here when Asha Kumari and two other former ministers, Mukesh Agnihotri and Colonel Dhani Lal Shandil (retired), both MLAs, were trying to enter the party office where Congress president Rahul Gandhi had to attend a meeting for assessing reasons for the party’s defeat in the Assembly polls. A video clip of the incident has since gone viral.
After learning of the incident, Rahul later reportedly told Asha Kumari at the meeting, “I am not happy over the incident. I do not approve of it. This is no way, at least not the Congress culture, which stands for Gandhian way of responding to anger with love. Raising hand against anyone is not good and I will not tolerate it,” he said at the meeting at the Congress office.
In response, Asha Kumari said, “The constable was abusing and pushing me, trying to stop me from entering the party office even after I showed her pass to identify myself . What business she had to abuse or push me? She should have shown restraint. I agree I too should not have lost my temper. I regret this.” Later in the day, the police registered an FIR under sections 332 and 353 of the IPC (criminal assault against a public servant on duty) against the MLA at Shimla (Sadar) police station.
“We have lodged an FIR against the lawmaker on the basis of statement given by the police constable,” Shimla SP Soumya Sambavisan said. “I will also lodge an FIR against her. A few people circulated just a part of the video clip. Let the entire video be released,” Asha Kumari said when told about the FIR. She also blamed the PCC for mismanagement at the gate.
“I can only blame myself for the unsavoury incident. In all my political career of over three decades, I never faced such incident. What to say about today’s kids (young cop), they refuse to even recognise us (senior MLAs). I should almost be of her mother’s age,” she said.