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Deputy CM orders probe into assault on scribes

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday ordered a probe into the assault on scribes in Mohali on January 30.

Written by Express News Service | Mohali |
February 3, 2009 10:53:17 pm

Scribes demand immediate suspension of Mohali Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Raghbeer Kaur Khaira and Deputy Superintendent of Police Swarndeep Singh

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday ordered a probe into the assault on scribes in Mohali on January 30.

Sukhbir,who also holds the Information and Public Relations portfolio,asked Director,Information and Public Relations (DIPR),Gagandeep Singh Brar,who is also his Additional Principal Secretary,to hold the inquiry and submit him the report at the earliest.

The Deputy CM assured stern action against the guilty. Sukhbir gave this assurance to a delegation of scribes that called upon him at his office in Chandigarh this evening.

In a representation signed by one of the assaulted journalists,Darshan Singh Sodhi,the immediate suspension of Mohali Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Raghbeer Kaur Khaira and Deputy Superintendent of Police Swarndeep Singh was demanded. While holding both these officers “responsible”,as they were present at the spot,the scribe alleged that Punjab Cooperation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh and his son Jasjit Singh Bunny,who is Punjab State Cooperative Bank Limited chairman,remained mute spectators when the assailants,who,he alleged,were confidants of the “powerful” father-son duo,made a bid on his life.

Sodhi recollected that not only was he abused and manhandled,even his turban was dislodged and he was pulled from his hair in full public view.

The trouble had arisen when during the election of vice-presidents of Mohali Municipal Council,the SDM,who as convener was conducting the poll,denied entry to the scribes,while there was no bar on the admission of several other persons who had no role or authority to participate in the election.

As the journalists detained outside the meeting hall objected,a group of persons pounced on them,making them to run for cover. While most of the scribes escaped,Sodhi and another scribe,Kuldeep Singh,got trapped in the melee and faced the wrath of the assailants.

Sodhi alleged that some onlookers rescued them,caught hold of the two assailants and handed them over to the DSP deputed there,but they were let off without any punishment.

Later,the journalists had met Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jatinder Singh Aulakh,on whose order a case was registered. However,the journalists were not satisfied with the case,which they termed as “mere eyewash”. They demanded addition of stringent IPC sections in the FIR.

Meanwhile,Sodhi has also sent a separate representation to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh,seeking appropriate action against those who dislodged his turban and pulled his hair.

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