The Kotkapura city police on Monday booked local resident Naresh Kumar Sehgal, who was a complainant in a poll violence case against Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal in 1999, on the charge of abetment to suicide.
The case was registered on the complaint of local resident Mangal Singh, father of the deceased, Amritpal Singh (20).
Mangal complained to the police that the accused had beaten up Amritpal in public around 6.30pm on Sunday at the Dussehra festival in the new grain market, Kotkapura. Mangal said Sehgal also insulted Amritpal, following which the latter went back home and committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan.
The complainant said he had recovered a suicide note from his son's pocket, which held the accused responsible for his death. The note has been handed over to the police, he added.
He alleged that the accused had earlier slapped his son and told him to sever relations with one Gurmej Singh's family or face dire consequences.
"I had advised my son to avoid confronting the accused because he wielded influence in the city and allegedly enjoyed police security," Mangal alleged.
Gurmeet Singh Randhawa, senior superintendent of police (SSP), said, "We have registered a case against the accused under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The accused was produced in the court and he has been remanded in one-day police custody. Further investigation is going on."
Naresh Kumar Sehgal and his father Bihari Lal Sehgal had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court in a case of violence during the 1999 parliamentary elections in Kotkapura. Naresh had alleged that he was assaulted by Sukhbir Badal and his supporters for taking pictures of booth capturing and intimidation of voters during the elections. Sukhbir had contested the polls from the Faridkot parliamentary seat. On the directions of the high court, the Kotkapura police had registered a case in 2006 under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 382, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Sukhbir and others.
The trial court proceedings had been reportedly stayed by the high court in this case.