A day after Moga district Congress president Darshan Singh Brar and his son Kamaljit Brar were booked in a sexual harassment case on the complaint of former Congress minister Dr Malti Thapar, the latter has approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) against the duo.
Talking to Hindustan Times on Tuesday, Dr Thapar said: “Going by newspaper reports that all Congress units would get new heads, I referred to Darshan Brar as the former district unit president during a protest against the NDA government over the National Herald case in Moga on December 19. Brar and his son reacted in an uncivilised manner and used abusive language against me. I quietly moved away, thinking that the duo would realise their mistake and apologise. Instead, both overstepped every limit of decency.”
She had submitted a complaint to Moga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mukhwinder Singh, following which a case was registered on Monday against Darshan Brar and Kamaljit Brar under sections 354-A (sexual harassment), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Dr Thapar, who is camping in New Delhi, said she would also take up the matter with the Congress high command “as an individual who doesn’t show respect for a woman doesn’t deserve to hold a prestigious post in the party.”
When contacted on the phone, Darshan Singh Brar refuted the allegations, claiming that he and his son did not use foul language against Dr Thapar. “All I said was that senior party leaders should bring along workers and leaders so that we can show our strength and unity to our opponents. She has been misled by anti-Congress forces,” he added.
Former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) secretary Ravi Grewal, who was present during the protest in Moga, said Brar and his son had not passed objectionable remarks against Dr Thapar. “It is necessary for the Moga Congress unit to bring together both leaders. We have requested Dr Thapar to take back her complaint,” Grewal said.
PPCC secretary Dr Harjot Kamal said the case was the outcome of instigation. “This is what the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) wants at this moment - to undermine Congress unity. Our party should not succumb to such tactics.” He added that the district Congress unit would succeed in resolving the matter with the help of PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh.
A senior party leader said on the condition of anonymity: “Now that the Congress is gearing up to contest the assembly elections unitedly under Amarinder, it is unfortunate that senior leaders like Brar and Dr Thapar are at loggerheads. It is rather odd that Dr Thapar submitted the complaint two days after the incident. All said and done, this matter should be resolved amicably across the table.”
Meanwhile, the SSP said raids had been conducted at the Brars’ residence and other places, but the duo was not present there.