A local court here on Saturday sent the social media activist and journalist with a Canada-based Punjabi radio station to a day’s police remand.
Baltej Pannu (48) was arrested on Friday for allegedly raping a 32-year-old woman on the pretext of marriage.
According to the FIR, the complainant claimed that she came into contact with Pannu five years ago at a school function where she served as a teacher. She said she was a divorcee at the time.
In her complaint, she claimed that Pannu, who was also a divorcee, developed physical relations with her on the pretext of marriage. The FIR claims that Pannu repeatedly raped her over a period of a year and a half before refusing to marry her. The victim claimed that she was being threatened and forced to develop physical relations against her wishes. Recently, she got married and narrated the events to her husband who, she claimed, asked her to lodge the police complaint.
On November 25, a police complaint was lodged and after conducting the preliminary inquiry a case was registered against Pannu under Sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC.
Meanwhile, Balbir Singh, AAP coordinator, Patiala zone, claimed that the move was politically motivated as Pannu had been actively exposing the alleged failures of the government on social media.
Police intimidated NRI activist’s kin, claims AAP leader
State legal head of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Himmat Singh Shergill on Saturday claimed that Punjab Police had “intimidated” Pritam Singh Bharowal almost 10 days ago, telling him to ask his close relative Raghubir Singh Bharowal -- who is an NRI and social media activist -- not to write against the SAD government.
Pritam was arrested by Ludhiana police on Friday for indulging in “false propaganda against the government”. “I was told by the family that Pritam was picked up by the CIA Ludhiana 10 days ago and kept in the CIA police station through the day.
There he was told to call Raghubir and warn him against posting matter against the Badals on his Facebook page,” said Shergill.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Shergill said he would move the Punjab and Haryana high court against the unprecedented crackdown of Punjab Police on social media activists. “Let it be clear to the Badal family that once AAP comes to power in Punjab, they will be taken to task for the oppression they are indulging in,” he said.