Two days after a video showing an Akali leader and his son assaulting a pregnant nurse led to a widespread outrage, the police arrested the duo on Saturday. The police have also added a non-bailable offence — section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC — in the first information report (FIR) against the accused.
The accused, Paramjeet Singh and his son Gurjeet Singh, were arrested from the Rajeana village bus stand in Baghapurana, reportedly when they were waiting for a bus to leave the city.
Earlier, the father-son duo was booked under Sections 451 (house trespass), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (common intent in crime) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the police were allegedly reluctant in adding a non-bailable section as the accused belonged to the ruling party.
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Baghapurana deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Jaspal Singh said Section 354 was added as the police, during investigation, realised it was required.
Jaspal said they got a tip-off that the accused were roaming near the bus stand. “We immediately sent a police team and nabbed them at around 3pm,” the DSP said.
Police said the accused confessed to have beaten up the nurse, who is five-month pregnant, in a fit of anger.
In her complaint, the victim, Ramandeep Kaur, who works with Gupta Hospital, stated that she had only asked the accused to wait till the discharge formalities of a patient were over. “He (Paramjeet) started abusing me, saying ‘tu mainu jaandi nahin, main Akali sarpanch haan’ (You don’t know me. I am an Akali sarpanch),” she said.
“After that, Gurjeet pushed me and, when I tried to resist, he and his father thrashed me. I received internal injuries,” she stated. All this was caught on camera and the video was soon on the social media, inviting condemnation.
The opposition parties had sought an apology from Akali MP and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who runs a campaign named ‘Nanhi Chhaan’ for women empowerment.
Bhagwant Mann offers free legal help to victim
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP from Sangrur visited the house of victim Ramandeep on Saturday and offered her free legal help. He was accompanied by AAP leaders Sadhu Singh and advocate Ramesh Grover. “The accused didn’t bother that the nurse was pregnant. This is total ‘goondagardi’ (vandalism) by Akalis,” he said.