Congress leader Pal Ambaliya, who was hospitalised on Thursday, alleged that he was beaten up by police during his preventive detention, a day after he and other party workers went to the collector’s office in Rajkot with some agricultural produce to deposit in the PM CARES fund.
Ambaliya and four others had reached the office of the Rajkot district collector with a bag of onions, two bags of castor seeds and one bag of cotton on Wednesday. However, they were initially detained and subsequently arrested by a team of Pradyumannagar police for assembly of more than four persons amid the lockdown.
In a release soon after his detention at around 12:15 pm on Wednesday, Ambaliya said that prices of agricultural commodities had crashed in the agricultural produce market committees (AMPCs). “Therefore, farmers who had brought their onion, castor seeds and cotton to the Bedi yard (of Rajkot APMC) today instead decided to donate their produce to the PM CARES fund so that government can auction them off, earn some money and help the nation in the bargain…,” Ambaliya had stated in his release.
Ambaliya and four others were booked under IPC sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and arrested them. They were given bail at around 3 pm.
However, Pradyumannagar police called them back to the police station to scan their finger prints and it was during this process that they were detained again. “We heard them talking that they were planning to stage a similar protest in the office of Jamnagar collector on Friday. Therefore, we detained them under CrPC Section 151. We produced them before a magistrate at 9 am on Thursday and were released on bail,” Pradyumannagar police inspector VS Vanzara said.
However, during his production on Thursday morning, Ambaliya complained to the magistrate that police beat him up severely. Therefore, the magistrate directed the police to take Ambaliya to Rajkot civil hospital for his medical examination.
While the Pradymannagar police inspector denied Ambaliya’s allegation, Rajkot city police commissioner Manoj Agarwal said police were open to look into the matter. “But there hasn’t been any written complaint so far…,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines