In fresh trouble for Bhagwant Mann, the AAP’s Sangrur MP was today booked along with some of his party activists by Punjab Police on a complaint alleging that they had misbehaved with mediapersons at a rally in Bassi Pathana.
“After receiving the report of the DSP to whom an inquiry had been marked and after getting legal opinion in this regard, we registered a case against Mr Bhagwant Mann and some of his party activists,” Fatehgarh Sahib SSP H S Bhullar said. A case was registered on the statement of journalist Ranjodh Singh and other mediapersons against Mann under various sections of the IPC including 109, 153, 323, 341, 352, 355, 356, 427, 500, 504 and 149. Some of these sections pertain to promoting enmity between different groups, punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, punishment for wrongful restraint, assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person and mischief and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.
The media persons had on Friday filed a complaint against Mann who along with his supporters allegedly misbehaved with them and used derogatory remarks against the media at a political rally in Bassi Pathana on Thursday. After receiving a complaint, Fatehgarh Sahib SSP had had directed Bassi Pathana DSP to conduct an inquiry and submit the report at the earliest.
The media persons told the SSP that Mann had arrived four hours late for Thursday’s rally. He allegedly instigated AAP volunteers against media
persons present there and they manhandled the scribes and even damaged the camera of one of them, the complaint read. Mann even used the word “paid media” which hurt the feeling of journalists, it said. After the incident, Congress activists had burnt an effigy of Mann at Bassi Pathana. Mann has been mired in controversies. The AAP MP recently drew flak for alleged security breach after he streamed a video of him entering the Parliament Complex in Delhi. The Lok Sabha Speaker had formed a panel to probe the issue and Mann was asked to stay away from proceedings of the house, pending the inquiry.
The DSP submitted his report recommending action against Mann and others on the rally incident to the SSP on Saturday. As per the report, media persons complained against Bhagwant Mann and even presented a video footage of the incident.
The report said that Mann had come to address AAP rally in Dushera Ground, Bassi Pathana around 2.30 PM. Mediapersons as per invitation to the rally had reached around 11 AM to cover the event.
On Mann’s arrival, journalist Ranjodh Singh and other media persons requested Mann to first address a press conference as they had been kept waiting for a long time. “Mann lost his temper and said you (media persons) do not dare to ask other leaders this question when they reach late. He alleged that media publishes news against him…AAP volunteers present in the rally also lost temper and started hooting against press and started to manhandle media persons,” the complaint reads.
As per Ranjodh Singh, he lost his Rs 4,500 and his camera fell on ground and was damaged. The complaint says that Bhagwant Mann asked mediapersons to leave the rally and after they had left, the MP allegedly used foul language against the media.
The video footage of the rally showed that after Mann allegedly instigated AAP volunteers, they misbehaved with media and hurt their feeling, according to the report. After receiving the DSP’s report, the SSP took legal opinion and directed Bassi Pathana police to register case against Mann and others and further investigate the case.