Akalis came to abusing and punching each other on Thursday in Amritsar, as the meeting room of the deputy commissioner turned into a boxing ring.
Youth leader Navdeep Singh Goldy allegedly slapped veteran Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala before tossing his turban. After the fight, the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) spokesman who eyes 2017 assembly election ticket from Amritsar South allegedly also took away the assault rifle of one of his gunmen. He left his two SUVs behind, while his security disappeared. The party has now suspended him.
Youth Akali Dal coordinator and cabinet minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon confirmed it in a press statement released on Thursday.
DC Varun Roojam had gathered the Akalis to review the constituency’s development works. Eyewitnesses said Truckanwala had got up to speak first and Goldy’s objecting to it had started the argument.
The DC moved out, saying he could not hold the meeting in an unruly atmosphere. “The leaders were aggressive from the start,” he said.
Truckanwala also punched Goldy. Asked to comment, he said: “I have given my complaint to police.” Civil Lines station house officer (SHO) inspector Arun Sharma confirmed it. The other Akali leaders present blamed Goldy. Deputy commissioner of police J Elenchezhian and additional DCP Gaurav Garg reached the spot.
Goldy, husband of district transport officer (DTO) Lovejeet Kalsi, was booked for “hurting religious sentiments and violating the Arms Act” among other offences. He says Truckanwala abused him first “ten times in front of officers”. “I was in the Congress, so I am being framed. I didn’t snatch any rifle or tossed anybody’s turban. Rather my driver was beaten up and abused. I will tell police and the deputy chief minister how.”
Goldy switched to the SAD during the last Lok Sabha election in Amritsar.
After the incident, local Akalis led by district SAD president Gurpartap Singh Tikka gathered to ask the YAD to expel Goldy and decided to take the request to YAD chief and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia.