April 5, 2021 9:53:12 pm
MUKTSAR POLICE on Monday arrested Lakhanpal Sharma, block president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU Sidhupur), and four others in connection with the March 27 assault on BJP MLA from Abohar Arun Narang in Malout.
Narang was allegedly gheraoed and assaulted by protesting farmers of BKU Sidhupur. Lakhanpal, said to be the organiser of the protest at Malout, and four others surrendered themselves before local police Monday afternoon.
Before surrendering, the five gathered at Guru Nanak Chowk of Malout alongwith other farmers, and organised a protest dharna. Later, they were garlanded before being taken to police station.
Lakhanpal told mediapersons: “I was an AAP member but for the past 6 months, I am working purely as a farmer and hence there is nothing political about this incident…It was a protest dharna against BJP, but it became violent because of some anti-social elements who entered our dharna. We will continue protesting against BJP leaders.”
Lakhanpal, who was named in the FIR on day one, surrendered nine days after the incident. “I was at the Delhi morcha of our union and came back to surrender as per the call of the union. We don’t fear arrests as we fight for our rights,” he said.
On Sunday, senior BJP leader and former state secretary Vineet Joshi had accused the AAP and anti-BJP parties of instigating innocent farmers against the central BJP government to gain political mileage in the 2022 Assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference here, he had said he had sufficient evidence to prove that the main perpetrator of the event, Lakhanpal, is a district vice-president of the AAP intellectual wing, Muktsar.
Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema however had said, “There are no office-bearers of intellectual wing of AAP as of now. This wing will be reorganised. Hence, Lakhanpal Sharma and Bachittar Singh have no portfolio in AAP.”
The other four arrested have been identified as Jasmel Singh alias Nikka, and Sandip Singh, both from Alamwala village, Kuldip Singh from Enna Khera village, and Kulwinder Singh from Dannewala village. Bachittar Singh, another person mentioned by Joshi, is not in the list of arrested persons.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Muktsar D Sudarvizhi said 30 persons have been arrested in connection with the Malout incident so far. Sukhdev Singh from Bura Gujjar village, district president BKU Sidhupur, Nirmal Singh from Jasseana village, general secretary and Nanak Singh from Fakarsar village, treasurer, were among the main leaders who had been arrested previously, said the police spokesperson.
She said that police traced all the accused after scanning video footage of the incident and on the basis of statements of the complainants.
The police spokesperson said Baljit Singh Midha was responsible for splashing black ink on the MLA while Kuldeep Singh and Mandeep Singh were found involved in tearing-off of his shirt. She said Kulwinder Singh, Sandeep and Jasmail Singh among others were seen beating up the MLA during the protest.
The case was registered under charges of attempt to murder, wrongful confinement, rioting, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation, disobedience to order promulgated by public servant, voluntary obstructing public servant in discharging of duties.
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