The role of Akali councillor Faqab Raja in the attack on Malerkotla MLA Farzana Alam’s residence last month has come under the scanner. On Tuesday, he was called in for questioning and police suggested that he may be called again.
On June 24, a group of people had gone to meet her after a Quran was allegedly desecrated the previous evening. When they were allegedly denied entry, a mob attacked the legislator’s house.
FIRs against 19 persons by name and 400 unidentified persons were registered with attempt to murder and other charges in the incident. During the course of inquiry, Raja’s name had cropped up.
“So far his involvement has not been established. We called had called him once at Sangrur to investigate the matter and may call him again as well because the inquiry is going on,” said SSP Sangrur Pritpal Singh Thind.
DSP Malerkotla Randhir Singh said, “On the basis of inquiry, Raja figured on the list and hence we called him. We may call him again as we have to interrogate more persons soon.”
The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Sheeraj Malik, personal assistant to former DGP (Prisons) Izhar Alam, the MLA’s husband. A few people, however, claim that they were named in the FIR to settle scores.
“Malik was with us when torn pages of the Holy Quran were found. I was surprised to see my name in the FIR that registered. Politics is happening in name of religion,” said Vasim Sheikh, general secretary of Muslim Sikh federation of Punjab. “The police had questioned me as well. I gave them that I was at Jarg chowk during the whole time. I hope the police is satisfied.”
DSP Randhir Singh said, “After talking to 19 persons named in FIR, we found a few of them innocent and a few new names have cropped up. However we will clear everything soon after a second set of interrogation.”
When The Indian Express asked Farzana Alam about the questioning of a SAD councillor in the incident she said, “I am not aware of all this. In fact I had not seen as to who all were involved in the attack as we were inside. So it is up to the police to find out the truth and punish whosoever is responsible.”