In a major breakthrough, the state special operations cell (SSOC) of the police arrested BJP councillor Prabhjit Singh Rataul, who was wanted for an attack on local advocate Vineet Mahajan and his brother Avneesh on May 10.
Rataul is a close aide of BJP leader and Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi, who has been under fire over the assault as the victim is a Congress worker and, more significantly, a complainant in cases against the minister. These cases include one in which Joshi and his family members have been accused of having dual votes. Vineet has repeatedly alleged that Joshi engineered the attack, but the police commissioner has rejected the accusation.
A press release issued by the SSOC here on Saturday said that with the arrest of Rataul, 10 persons have been arrested out of the total 11 named in the assault case.
It is worth noting that the victim advocate has said that Rataul was at the spot when he was being attacked; but police commissioner Jatinder Aulakh has said Rataul was not at the spot and was thus booked only under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Looking at the political overtones of the case, the director general of police (DGP) had already formed a special investigation team (SIT) for the case.
Vineet has filed the 'dual votes' case against Joshi and eight of his relatives and even got have bailable warrants issued against them. He is also involved in two other cases, including two defamation suits, with the minister.
On May 10, Vineet and his brother were attacked right in the middle of the road with sharp-edged weapons and left bleeding. Vineet's hands were injured badly and his brother also received some injuries.
The Congress had slammed the Amritsar police for inaction against the accused and even demanded that the case be given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).