Sitting councilor of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ), Balbir Singh Bittu, has been arrested from the PWD guest house on Saturday in a murder case, after the Bahujan Samaj Party workers, gheraoed him and handed over to police.
Bittu, who was booked for murdering a Dalit youth in the 2009 violence, after murder of Sant Ramnand, head of Dera Sachkhand Balla at Vienna, Austria, had come to the town to appear before a two-member commission comprising retired chief justice of Kerala high court BK Bali and retired district and sessions judge CR Goyal to claim compensation for loss of his properties during the violence.
The local unit of General Samaj Manch had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab & Haryana high court to demand compensation against the loss of properties during the post-Veinna violence. Following high court's instruction, the commission visited the town on Saturday to take stock of the claims for compensation.
As soon as the BSP workers came to know about Bittu's presence in the guest house, they gathered and allegedly locked the premises from inside, sources said adding that BSP workers showed the arrest warrant against Bittu issued by a Jalandhar court on December 5 to the visiting members of the commission.
However, the visiting judges expressed their inability to intervene and instructed the local police to take action, sources said. SHO of the local police station, Surinder Singh visited the guest house and took Bittu into custody.
The BSP workers reached the police station and started raising slogans to demanding immediate arrest of Bittu.
Phagwara police pacified both the factions and informed the Jalandhar Police Commissionerate about the situation. Two additional deputy commissioners of police (ADCP), including Harpreet Singh Mandher and Naresh Dogra reached Phagwara, where Bittu was handed over to them and was formally arrested.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Rahul S said, “As there was arrest warrant issued by the court against Bittu, he is arrested and produced before the court, which sent him to judicial remand of 14 days in Kapurthala jail.”
Balbir Singh Bittu and the case
During post-Vienna violence, Dalit mob attacked the residence of Bittu in Dhilwan village on May 22, 2009. In retaliation, the SAD councilor opened fire from his license revolver and killed Dalit youth Vijay Kumar.
Although Bittu was booked for murder, but later police gave him clean chit citing the reason that he opened fire in 'self defense'. Later, an eyewitness identified as Nathpal filed a petition in the district court against the 'clean chit' and on May 19 this year, a city court issued arrest warrant against Bittu for murder.
As city police kept on ignoring the arrest warrant, BSP workers staged dharna at PAP Chowk in Jalandhar on November 19.
On December 5, a city court again issued an arrest warrant against Bittu and instructed police to arrest him by January 1, 2014.