Police have moved an application in a Patiala district court for cancellation of a first information report (FIR) registered against Akali municipal councillor Rajinder Singh Virk, who was booked during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls for allegedly attacking then Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Patiala Dr Dharamvira Gandhi.
Dr Gandhi, who won elections, received injuries on the face in the attack on the day of polling (April 30, 2014).
The Patiala MP said police moved the application at the behest of Akali minister Surjit Singh Rakhra as Virk is close to him.
The case was placed for disposal before a lok adalat on September 9. But Gandhi’s security guard, who is the main complainant in the case, did not appear even as police were aiming for a settlement. He has now been summoned by the court on Saturday.
Akali councillor Rajinder Singh Virk was booked under Sections 323 (punishment for causing injuries voluntarily), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 148 (guilty of rioting) and 149 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. After Dr Gandhi’s medical report, Section 325 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt) was added to the FIR. The accused is out on bail since then as trial is yet to begin.
Sources said police moved the application for the following a probe done by then superintendent of police (SP city) and now Sangrur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Pritpal Singh Thind.
Sources said the inquiry report gave the benefit of doubt to the main accused as it stated that Dr Gandhi suffered injuries after people fell on him.
However, the MP said he was attacked by Virk and his more than 10 supporters. Accusing the police for botching up the probe, Dr Gandhi said despite being the victim of the attack, he was never asked for his statement during police investigation.
Demanding re-investigation, he said: “Who will listen to a common man when a sitting MP can’t get justice here?” he questioned. Dr Gandhi said he would move a petition before the Lok Sabha speaker to seek justice and action against police officials who weakened the case under political influence.
When contacted, Thind said he couldn’t remember about the investigation as the case was more than two years old. Patiala SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said the incident took place before he joined but he would look into the doubts raised by the MP. Police probe, he said, was not the final verdict as the case has to be decided by the court. Rakhra also denied Dr Gandhi’s allegations.
Update: AAP’s national organisation-building head Durgesh Pathak tweeted in response to the HT report that the party will oppose the FIR-cancellation move.