Alleging inhumane treatment, three migrant labourers acccused Lambra police officials of 'abducting' them from the house of a Congress party worker from Lallian Kalan village on Tuesday morning.
The labourers, identified as Bihar residents Jagat Sharma, Kishnu Kumar and Mukesh Kumar, were allegedly kept in illegal confinement until mediapersons intervened in the evening.When the HT team reached the Lambra police station, the labourers were sitting on the floor outside the lockup, waiting to hear the charges on which they had been held.
"We have no idea why we were arrested, though we have heard that we may have been detained in relation to a scuffle in the village in the morning. We have not been given food since morning and have been forced to do cleaning and other menial jobs in the police station," alleged Jagat Sharma.
Saying that migrant labourers in the state felt unsafe, Kishnu Kumar said, "Once they let us go, we will go back to our native state, because there is no law and order here, especially for us. We are just being treated as scapegoats for others to settle political scores. A police team had also beaten up several labourers in the village on Sunday."
Sources revealed that the police was searching for Gurinder Singh, who had been booked by Lambra police after a clash with Akali workers on Thursday.
Gurinder Singh's father-in-law Balwinder Singh, a resident of Khakhan village in Tanda, also went to the police station to appeal for the labourers' release.
"On the day of panchayat polls, there was a verbal exchange between workers of the Akali Dal and the Congress over some votes. The matter was resolved later, but on Friday, a violent clash erupted and both parties, including Gurinder Singh, had to be hospitalised," he said.
On Friday, the Akali Dal workers beat up Jagjit Singh, who was taking care of Gurinder Singh in the hospital, and a case was registered against them. Gurinder Singh was then booked by Lambra police at the behest of Akali leaders, allegedly patronaged by a cabinet minister, under Section 308 (culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and was avoiding arrest, he added.
"To create panic among the villagers, police raided our house on Sunday and beat up the labourers working there, without any cause," he alleged.
Jalandhar (rural) superintendent of police Gurmeet Singh said that the labourers had been brought in for questioning and were released afterwards.
"We will look into the matter and if we find that their rights were violated or atrocities were committed by the personnel, we will take action against the culprits," he claimed.