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Bittu assaulted at Singhu, he says ‘plot to kill him’, blames ‘foreign funded element’

Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu said someone hit him on his head with a heavy wooden stick, dislodging his turban, before he was manhandled and before farm leaders eventually took him to his vehicle.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal , Raakhi Jagga | Chandigarh, Ludhiana |
January 25, 2021 10:36:00 am
Ravneet Singh Bittu, Ludhiana MPFor the ruling Congress in Punjab, the incident has come as a shock. The Congress has been supporting the farmers’ agitation and was least expecting that any party member would be facing such protests.

Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu was manhandled and his turban tossed by a group of people as he went to participate in the Jan Sansad organised by various organisations at Guru Tegh Bahadur Memorial on farmers’ issues.

Turban of Congress MLA from Zira Kulbir Singh Zira was also removed and Congress MP from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla was confronted by a group of protesters. The Congress leaders were asked to go back. A number of videos of the incident went viral, including one where MLA Zira purportedly questioned the credentials of those who removed turbans.

Bittu said those who had attacked were “goonda elements” and that “it was a plot to kill him”. Talking to The Indian Express in the evening over the phone, Bittu said, “These are pure goonda elements who attacked us. They don’t know anything about the laws nor they know any spellings. They are the people who are out to defame Punjab.”

The Ludhiana MP alleged that “it was a plot to kill me. There were four persons who were carrying weapons. A man with a jeans and red sweat shirt was about to take out weapon when I was being manhandled, but a Sikh man saw this and shouted at him, following which he ran away. There were good people also like that man who shouted at the assailant and another one from whom I borrowed his winter cloth (lohi) to cover my head after my turban was removed.”

Bittu, who is Ludhiana MP, said, “These people are 2020 [Referendum] foreign-funded elements who had supported Aam Aadmi Party in 2017 Punjab Assembly elections.”

Bittu, while referring to a video of the incident, named an AAP leader from Patti in Tarn Taran saying that he was present when his (Bittu’s turban) was removed.

The Ludhiana MP said that farmer unions should do something to ensure that such elements do not create any trouble on January 26. “We are Punjabis. We did not initiate any action, did not file any FIR. But when it comes to Delhi Police or paramilitary forces, they will not spare.”

Bittu said, “We did not go to farmers’ programme. We were observing separate dharna in their support. Noted personalities like Prashant Bhushan and Medha Patkar are heading the Kisan Sansad. We went there only after they approached our party high command which directed us to go.”

Narrating the incident, he said someone hit him on his head with a heavy wooden stick, dislodging his turban, before he was manhandled and before farm leaders eventually took him to his vehicle. The protesters also vandalised the vehicle, breaking its panes as Bittu was driven away.

In a Facebook post earlier in the day, Bittu wrote, “I want to tell you that we are perfectly fine. We were invited for Jan Sansad scheduled at Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Memorial and had gone there to participate along with MP Gurjit Aujla and MLA Kulbir Zira. Some miscreants with their motives not known to us tried to vitiate the atmosphere by mounting a murderous attack on us. But we were not shaken and with the grace of God and by taking the name of God, talked to them. However, it is OK. The farmers’ struggle is very big and on January 26, a big day is approaching and farmers’ agitation is at peak. I have no grudge against anyone. We will stand by the farmers as we had been doing earlier. Our protest in favour of farmer brothers would continue.”

The Congress has organised a parallel indefinite dharna at Jantar Mantar since December 6 where the three Congress leaders are sitting round the clock and even are sleeping at the same site. This dharna was started by Bittu in favour of farmers with a plea that if farmers are sleeping in the open, they will also do the same.

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