The family of Kamaljit Singh, whose wife Bibi Jagir Kaur's daughter Harpreet Kaur - had died in 2000 after a forcible abortion, has alleged harassment by various authorities at the behest of the former Punjab cabinet minister.
"Ever since Jagir Kaur was released on bail in November last year, our family is being targeted by her supporters. Kamaljit has been forced to live away from home to save his life," said Kamaljit's mother Balwinder Kaur.
"They don't want Kamaljit to appear before the police for investigations in various false cases slapped by the district police at Jagir Kaur's behest. He might eventually be declared a proclaimed offender," she added.
Talking to HT, Kamaljit's sister Paramjit Kaur said, "Though security was provided to us on the directions of the high court, the authorities are now saying that it was meant for Kamaljit and would be withdrawn as he is no longer living with us."
Meanwhile, the Begowal nagar panchayat has told the family to immediately stop the borewell work in progress in front of their house. "Hundreds of supporters led by the nagar panchayat executive officer reached on January 26 when I was alone at home. They told me to stop the work as the borewell was being installed in the street," said Balwinder Kaur.
"They even threatened the labourers with dire consequences if the work continued," she said, adding that, "We had already spent nearly Rs. 30,000. Now, we will have to restart work on the premises of our house. We have also been instructed not to dump waste/earth in the street."
"We even called the police, but they simply asked us to follow the instructions," said Paramjit.
The family claimed that borewells had been sunk by house owners in the streets at hundreds of places in Begowal, but they were being singled out.
"Earlier, Jagir Kaur's supporters and nagar panchayat officials used to close the gate-valve attached to the pipe supplying water to our house, thus cutting the supply. We had decided to install a submersible pump, but the plan has been scuttled," Kamaljit's mother alleged.
"All these 'atrocities' have increased since Jagir Kaur's release on bail. We demand cancellation of her bail and start of proceedings to book her on the charge of murder, as demanded by my son, she said.
When contacted, Begowal nagar panchayat executive officer Kulwinder Kumar said, "I have no knowledge about closing the gate-valve to cut the water supply. It is a baseless allegation. The work of sinking the borewell is being stopped because it was being done on nagar panchayat land."
When asked about other such borewells in the town, he expressed ignorance.
Kapurthala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Inderbir Singh denied plans to withdrawn security provided to Kamaljit. "There is no such proposal with us," he said.
Meanwhile, Bibi Jagir Kaur, when contacted by HT, said, "Why are you asking me about the allegations levelled by that (Kamaljit's) family? Go and ask those who are responsible. Main saari umar oss family di dekhbhal da theka nahin chukiya hoya (I am not bound to take care of that family for the whole life)."
When told that the family was pointing the finger at her, she said, "I have nothing to do
with their allegations."
Bholath MLA Bibi Jagir Kaur was released on bail from Modern Jail, Kapurthala, on November 2, 2012, after spending more than six months in prison. She was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment on March 30, 2012, by a special CBI court on the charges of illegal confinement and forcible abortion of her daughter Harpreet Kaur.