August 20, 2021 8:29:04 am
LUDHIANA POLICE on Thursday registered an FIR against six people, including SAD leader Gurmeet Singh Kular, for being involved in a clash during the annual general meeting of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) on August 18. Kular is also the president of the Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organizations (FICO).
UCPMA president, DS Chawla, was attacked by some unidentified men during the stormy meeting of the association on Wednesday, with his turban also being allegedly tossed.
The polls for the top posts of UCPMA — said to be Asia’s largest body of traders dealing in bicycles and its parts — are scheduled for September 3. Kular, who is one of the two presiding officers-cum-observers for the polls, had twice remained the president of UCPMA. He had also unsuccessfully contested the Punjab Assembly polls in 2017 from Atam Nagar in Ludhiana on a SAD ticket.
Thursday’s FIR was registered on the statement of Daljit Singh Chawla, 65, the incumbent president of UCPMA, who alleged that the accused dragged him from the stage and thrashed him badly during the meeting held at UCPMA complex on Gill road in Ludhiana. Gill claimed that he was a baptized Sikh and thus when the accused tossed his turban and it fell on the ground, his religious sentiments were deeply hurt. He also alleged that the accused also assaulted him with a sharp-edged weapon.
Chawla in his statement further said that there was a dispute on the number of members that had to be allowed inside the venue due to Covid-19 restrictions. He said that the secretary, Manjinder Singh Sachdeva, had invited more than 2,000 members to the meeting, but due to Covid restrictions, only 150 members were allowed inside by the administration.
“Sudhir Mahajan, Surinder Singh Chauhan, Rajan Gupta, Ashok Gupta and I were present on the stage when the accused turned up there. The accused started assaulting me and dragged me from the stage. They accused me of restricting the entry of members. The accused assaulted me and my turban was tossed,” alleged Chawla.
Apart from Kular, the others who have been booked are Vicky Kular (Gurmeet Kular’s brother), Asru Ram Gupta, Walaiti Ram, Satnam Singh Makkar, Rajinder Singh Saholi, and 25 others, who are unidentified.
ACP (Industrial Area-B), Randhir Singh, said a case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC has been registered at Division Number 6 police station.
According to the members of the association, the current executive committee of the association has been divided into two groups. While current president, DS Chawla, leads one group, the other is being led by general secretary, Manjinder Sachdeva, who is also being supported by Gurmeet Kular.
Members added that soon after the AGM commenced at 6:30pm, both groups entered into a heated argument over the restriction imposed on the entry of members due to Covid. Sachdeva’s group alleged that Chawla had approached the administration to restrict the entry. After the Sachdeva group approached the police and more members were allowed to enter, a heated argument was witnessed between the two groups for a second time.
Gurmeet Singh Kular said that tossing of Chawla’s turban was an unfortunate incident but claimed he was not present at the spot when it happened. “I was outside when this turban was tossed. As per the videos of the incident, his turban came off accidentally during the melee and was not tossed by anyone deliberately. In fact, none of the people named in the FIR were present at the spot when the incident happened. I am not even contesting the polls this time. I am an observer. Just because of a rivalry, my name has been added to the FIR,” said Kular.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.