A day after Government Railway Police (GRP) head constable Gurmeet Singh was injured by his daughter's alleged stalker and his accomplices, the prime accused, a minor, was among three people arrested on Sunday.
Property dealers Satinder Singh "Lucky Oberoi" of GTB Nagar and Gurnam Singh "Bunty" Bajwa of Gol Market, besides the latter's son, are the ones caught in this case, so far. The girl had approached her father after three days of stalking and eve-teasing. Two accused, include one named Ladi Bajwa, are on the run.
The case has been registered under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (punishment for causing hurt voluntarily), 325 (punishment for causing grievous hurt voluntarily), 148 (armed riot) and 149 (unlawful assembly with common intent) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the statement of the girl's cousin, Karanvir Singh.
The boy under arrest has denied that he ever stalked or harassed the girl. He is reported to have claimed that he doesn't even know her. Accused Lucky Oberoi denied that the group had beaten up the head constable, saying everyone ran away after the cop fired in the air. The main accused told HT at the police station that he was 19 but police claimed he was minor.
Lucky Oberoi and Bunty Bajwa were, later, remanded in two days of police custody, while the main accused was sent to a juvenile home in Hoshiarpur. "We have arrested three accused within a few hours of the incident, and will catch the rest, too," said additional deputy commissioner of police-2 Harpreet Singh Mander. He claimed that the records of Guru Amar Dass Public School at Model Town where the boy had studied till Class 10 showed him to be under 18.
The injured GRP head constable was moved to a private hospital from the civil hospital, and his condition is stable. Sikh Youth of Punjab (SYP), a voluntary organisation, condemned the incident. "The growing lawlessness and disrespect to women in Punjab is tarnishing the image of the state," said SYP chief Paramjit Singh. "Hooligans now dare to thrash even the police," said SYP general secretary Gurmeet Singh, adding: ""Witnesses say that when a dozen people were hitting the GRP head constable, a PCR team stood nearby."
They said the incident reminded them of the Amritsar case in which a police officer protecting the honour of his daughter from a youth Akali leader had been killed. The SYP blamed the rising crime of this nature on the "easy availability of liquor and drugs under the patronage of the government".