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5 AAP volunteers booked for attacking Mann’s PSO

The accused are reported to be supporters of dissident leader Sukhpal Khaira, who called the FIR “unjustifiable”.

punjab Updated: Aug 14, 2018 22:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
AAP,volunteers,PSO

The police on Tuesday booked five Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers, including a former sarpanch, for allegedly attacking Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann’s personal security officer (PSO) in Barnala on Monday.

The accused are reported to be supporters of dissident leader Sukhpal Khaira, who called the FIR “unjustifiable”.

The incident took place at Pandori village in the district where Mann had arrived to attend the last rites of party MLA Kulwant Singh Pandori’s father.

Those booked allegedly tried to block Mann’s convoy and entered into a scuffle with his PSO, constable Lakhvir Singh.

They have been identified as Nirmal Singh Nimma, former sarpanch of Chinniwall village; Karamjit Singh Uppal of Hardaspura; Pargat Singh of Mehal Khurd; Gagan Sran; and Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal of Tallewall in Barnala district.

“We were just trying to interact with our MP. We did not want to hold any protest, but the situation turned ugly,” said Amandeep Singh Dhaliwal over phone. “The FIR against us shows that the so-called revolutionary party has got down to traditional politics and crossed all limits.”

During the protest on Monday, the group had accused Bhagwant Mann of branding all AAP workers as agents of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). Mann had made this statement in the context of workers who attended the dissident MLAs’ August 2 rally.

PSO filed complaint: Mann

Meanwhile, Mann said that he was not willing to take action against the volunteers and it was the decision of his PSO.

“I don’t believe in revenge politics. But the protesters could have harmed the security officers, and the FIR has been registered on the PSO’s complaint,” he said.

Surjit Singh Dhanoa, deputy superintendent of police (investigation), Barnala, said constable Lakhvir Singh alleged that the accused stopped Mann’s car and attacked him when he was trying to escort the Sangrur MP. They allegedly even tore his uniform.

A case has been registered under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 341(wrongful restraint), 147 (rioting) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code at the Mehal Kalan police station.

“No arrest has been made so far. Raids are being conducted,” said Dhanoa.

Khaira condemns action

Addressing a gathering during his visit to Patiala to mobilise AAP volunteers for a district-level convention on September 9, Khaira condemned the FIR.

“Mann should have instead tried to understand the sentiments of volunteers, as to why they are upset with the party and its working,” said the former leader of opposition.

Lambasting the Punjab AAP leaders, Khaira said they prefer to work under the “high command” instead of taking up the issues concerning people of the state.

Khaira said the booked volunteers had done nothing wrong, and he along with other dissident MLAs will be listening to such volunteers to strengthen the party in the state.

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 22:36 IST