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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Dasuya MLA’s son tenders apology for violence in panchayat polls

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times  Talwara (Hoshiarpur), April 05, 2013
First Published: 21:01 IST(5/4/2013) | Last Updated: 21:03 IST(5/4/2013)

Dasuya MLA Sukhjit Kaur Sahi’s son, Harsimrat Singh Sahi, has tendered an unconditional public apology for vandalism by party workers during the nagar panchayat elections in March. Eight other party workers have also apologised for their conduct.

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On March 17, Ashok Kumar husband of Anita Kumari, an independent candidate from ward number 2 was beaten up by unidentified people. He was returning home after casting his vote at polling booth setup in the local school. An FIR was also registered by Talwara police on Kumar’s complaint.

When the police failed to act, a 21-member Joint Action Committee (JAC) was formed to create public pressure. The JAC had been leading protests and demanding an apology from Harsimrat for ‘orchestrating’ the violence.

Bowing to public pressure and sentiment, five men from Dasuya and three from Amritsar apologised in the presence of the JAC members at the Talwara police station. Terming it as the victory of public, the members of JAC supported by different employee unions of Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB) had also organised a victory procession in the town on Thursday.

“The vandalism on the polling day was led by Harsimrat Singh Sahi, son of Dasuya BJP MLA Surjit Kaur Sahi. He was present when BJP workers from Amritsar tendered an apology and was also sorry,” said Charanjeet Singh Sidhu, an employee union leader.

“For some time during the polls, our town was virtually taken over by goon from the BJP from other parts of the state. Vandalism on poll day and the thrashing me was too much. We formed a JAC after police was reluctant to pursue the case,” Ashok said.

He claimed that even as the BJP asked some people to apologise for the violence, but they were not the masterminds behind the incident.

Meanwhile, Harsimrat Sahi, when contacted by HT, said, “I was not present on the day of the violence. BJP is also not involved in the incident. However, to assuage public anger and satisfy the JAC, we simply produced the individuals who were responsible for the vandalism that day.”

On a pointed query on whether the people produced before the JAC were BJP workers, he said: “Those who apologised were not holding any responsible position in the BJP.  All issues have been sorted out at Talwara.”

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