The police have booked Dharamkot Congress leader Sukhjeet Singh Kaka Lohgarh and seven others for abetment to suicide following the death of a 60-year-old disabled man who set himself ablaze outside the block development and panchayat office (BDPO) in Kot Isse Khan town on Thursday.
The deceased, Kartar Singh of Lohgarh village, had lodged a complaint with the BDPO regarding an “illegal” lintel over a narrow street by his neighbour and his sons to connect their houses, and had been demanding its demolition. Failing to get justice, Kartar set himself ablaze.
Lohgarh has been booked on the statement of Kartar’s son, Lakhvir Singh, who alleged that the Congress leader had asked the BDPO and his staff not to take action on the complaint. The police have also booked Kartar’s neighbour, identified as Laxman Singh, his sons and grandsons Jassa Singh, Resham Singh, Binder Singh, Manpreet Singh and Happy, and an artisan Surjit Singh, all residents of Lohgarh village.
Lakhvir alleged that Laxman and his sons, who allegedly had the backing of the Congress leader, used to threaten his father and also use to beat him up.
Lohgarh had joined the Congress before the 2012 assembly polls and had unsuccessfully contested against Akali minister Tota Singh.
“It is a well-planned conspiracy against me by the ruling party leaders ahead of assembly polls,” said Lohgarh. He said the Akalis were feeling insecure and were registering a false case to malign his image. “How can a Congress leader influence a government official under the Akali government’s regime? If any Congress worker is seen sitting in the government office, the official is transferred immediately,” he alleged
“I hope the police will conduct a fair probe,” Lohgarh added.
Victim’s family holds protest
Demanding immediate arrest of the accused, Kartar’s family members held a protest with his body near Shaheed Udham Singh Chowk at Dharamkot in Moga on Friday. The protestors, led by Kartar’s son, submitted a memorandum to Dharamkot sub-divisional magistrate Jaspal Singh and demanded compensation to the family.