The Batala Journalists Union has flayed the local police for their failure to arrest a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader who allegedly attacked a reporter of Hindi daily here lat month.
The union has threatened to hold a protest against the police by organising a dharna outside the office of Batala senior superintendent of police (SSP) on May 19 if SAD leader Surinder Bansal is not arrested till then.
Union chairman Pardeep Luthra said that though a case under sections 326, 323, 324, 148 and 149 of IPC has been registered against Surinder Bansal and his sons Yogesh Bansal and Sandeep Bansal, the Batala police have failed in arresting them "under political pressure".
Luthra further pointed out that many representations from the media had met Batala SSP HS Sandhu and DSP(city) Ravinder Pal Singh but despite their assurances, the police have not even conducted a single raid to arrest the SAD leader, who was "openly roaming in the city".
Luthra threatened that if the police did not arrest the Akali leader by May 18, they will organise a protest against the Batala police and will hold a dharna outside the SSP's office on May 19. He said several NGOs and political outfits will also join their protest.
On April 26, Surinder Bansal, the SAD president of Civil Line circle, had allegedly attacked Rakesh Rekhi, the bureau chief of a Hindi daily, while the latter had gone to his house to cover a fire incident.
Bansal, his two sons and half-a-dozen other unidentified persons allegedly attacked Rekhi with sharp-edged weapons. Rekhi was rushed to local civil hospital with serious injuries on his arm.
In his complaint to the police, Rekhi calimed that about one-and-a-half months ago, a police team from Hyderabad had raided the house of Surinder Bansal and arrested his son. The reporter claimed that he had covered that development in his newspaper, which earned him the wrath of the SAD leader.
Rekhi further stated that after the report was published in the newspaper, he got repeated threats from Surinder Bansal and his sons before they finally attacked him on April 26.