Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday appeared before a Faridkot court in connection with the 1999 poll violence case and denied all charges against him. The deputy CM denied having manhandled and threatened the complainant, Naresh Sehgal, who was also present in court. Sukhbir said a false case had been lodged against him and that he had no enmity with Sehgal.
The next date of hearing has now been set for February 25, when the deputy CM will produce witnesses from his side. Sehgal also moved an application in court, seeking permission to produce more witnesses.
As per the FIR, lodged only in September 2006, Sehgal has alleged that when he and was clicking photographs at Kotkapura in September, 1999, when Sukhbir contested the Lok Sabha polls from Faridkot, the now deputy CM and a few others had manhandled and threatened him and had even snatched his camera.
Sukhbir’s visit to Faridkot, however, sparked off protests as the family of Manoj Kapoor, who was allegedly kidnapped in May 2014 and has since been missing, sat on a dharna outside the Sadar police station. The family was forced to lift the dharna ahead of Deputy CM’s visit. Neetu Kapoor, Manoj’s sister, alleged that police threatened them rather than allowing them to meet the deputy CM as there has been no lead in the ‘kidnapping’ of her brother. The family also raised slogans against the deputy CM as his convoy passed through the area.
Over 60 Punjab Youth Congress Congress were rounded up and lodged at the Sadar police station till Sukhbir left the city. The workers had planned a protest in front of the deputy CM’s convoy.
Before appearing in court, Sukhbir had also visited the residence of local MLA Deep Malhotra, where he held a meeting with his party workers.