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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Punjab AAP MLA attacked at mining site

Two officials, including a forest officer, were brutally thrashed by five to seven assailants with sticks and sharp-edged weapons on the night of June 18 when they intercepted a tractor-trolley near Seonk village in Mohali.

Written by Jagdeep Singh Deep | Chandigarh | Updated: June 22, 2018 1:59:51 am
Ropar MLA Amarjeet Singh Sandoa at PGI on Thursday. (Express photo) Ropar MLA Amarjeet Singh Sandoa at PGI on Thursday. (Express photo)

AAP MLA from Ropar, Amarjit Singh Sandoa, was allegedly attacked Thursday by a group of people in village Harsha Bela near Anandpur Sahib where he had ostensibly gone to stop illegal mining.

His security officer Sukhbir Singh and personal assistant Jaspal Singh too sustained injuries in the attack.

All three were taken to a hospital in Anandpur Sahib, given first aid and referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh.

The incident took place around 1 pm when Amarjit, accompanied by a few mediapersons, went to the crusher zone in the village to stop alleged illegal mining. He was allegedly attacked by Ajwinder Singh, son of Beinhara village sarpanch Raghbir Kaur, and his accomplices.

Later in the evening, Ajwinder told mediapersons that he too was a supporter and volunteer of AAP and had supported Amarjit in the 2017 Assembly polls. He also levelled extortion charges against the MLA and claimed the “scuffle took place after Amarjit hurled abuses at him”.

“Sandoa had been coming to our home for the last five days and harassing Ajwinder in an attempt to extort money from him while accusing him of illegal mining. Ajwinder had taken one acre of land for Rs 8 lakh where he was doing mining legally as it is an approved site. It’s located in Anandpur Sahib constituency, which is not Sandoa’s area. What was he doing here?” Raghbir Kaur told The Indian Express.

Doctors at PGIMER told The Indian Express that none of the three injured had sustained any grievous injury, but contusions probably because of the stones pelted at them.

“All three are stable and kept under observation at the Advanced Trauma Centre. The MLA has been kept in the VIP room. He sustained minor injuries on his face and chest, probably due to stone pelting. A medical investigation for all three was carried out and results are normal. Sukhbir and Jaspal may be discharged from the hospital by tonight. We may keep Amarjit under observation for another day,” a senior doctor said.

Sub-Inspector Desh Raj, Station House Officer, Noorpurbedi police station, said a case of attempt to murder and hurting religious sentiments had been registered against Ajwinder, his relative Bachittar Singh, friends Manjeet Singh, Jaswinder Singh and their accomplices who were yet to be identified.

Ropar SSP Raj Bachan Singh Sandhu said, “We have detained a few persons. All the accused shall be arrested soon.”

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly, Sukhpal Khaira, and other AAP leaders reached the PGI and met the injured. Later in the evening, Khaira and other AAP leaders addressed a press conference demanding stern action against the sand mafia. Khaira accused the state government of failing to protect opposition MLAs. “Illegal mining in the state is taking place with active and tested support of Congress,” he said.

Today’s incident comes three days after two employees of the Punjab’s forest department were attacked allegedly by the sand mafia, even as four other officials escaped with minor injuries. Two officials, including a forest officer, were brutally thrashed by five to seven assailants with sticks and sharp-edged weapons on the night of June 18 when they intercepted a tractor-trolley near Seonk village in Mohali.

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