There was commotion during chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s ‘sangat darshan’ at Goniana Mandi on Tuesday when an ex-serviceman and his wife confronted him over police not lodging a complaint with regard to assault on them.
The aggrieved couple, Sukhdev Singh and Malkit Kaur, said they were running from pillar to post since March to lodge a complaint against a group of people who had beaten them up inside their house. They alleged that the assailants were Khemuana village sarpanch’s aides.
“SSP sahib, SSP sahib,” the chief minister said, after the couple created a scene, alleging police inaction with regard to their long-standing complaint. Soon, Bathinda SSP turned up and cops pushed the couple out of the venue on his directions.
After a stoic silence, the chief minister attended to other people and distributed cheques to panchayats for development works.
The couple were not the only ones deprived of meeting the CM: Malkiat Kaur was spotted crying, narrating to the media outside how she has been making rounds of the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office to get her land, that has been encroached upon, back, but in vain.
Kaur was also seen carrying a letter written by the DC to the Bathinda SSP, asking him to look into the matter of alleged land-grabbing.
Another was a widow from Jidda village, whose husband, a landless peasant, had committed suicide. She said she had come to the sangatdarshan with a hope of getting some financial aid, but was turned away.
As the election code is expected to come into effect any time now, the chief minister has held four such ‘sangat darshan’ meetings in Bathinda district, one each at Goniana Mandi, Bhuccho Mandi and Kalyan Sukha and Kothe Sandhuan villages, where he distributed cheques, each worth lakhs of rupees, to different panchayats.