Ludhiana Congress chief arrested for 2015 rail blockade, released on bail
After his release, Gogi termed his arrest as a “political vendetta”. “The RPF comes under the rail ministry. SAD-BJP leaders have been exerting pressure on the RPF to target Congress leaders,” he alleged.punjab Updated: Sep 13, 2017 23:47 IST
Two years after he was booked for blocking rail traffic, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Wednesday arrested Ludhiana Congress chief Gurpreet Gogi from his house amid huge drama.
Gogi’s supporters raised slogans while he was being taken to the railway police post. The Congress leader was released after he furnished a bail bond of Rs 5,000.
Gogi had called up mediapersons before his arrest clearly showing that police officials had informed him about the arrest in advance.
RPF officials had no clear answers as to why they arrested Gogi after a delay of two years and why ‘others’ in the FIR have still not been identified. Inspector Vinod Kumar Dhoundiyal, RPF in-charge, Ludhiana: “We conducted raid at Gogi’s residence several times but he was not available. Today, we got information that he is at his home so we came and arrested him.”
Interestingly, Gogi has always been in Ludhiana all this while and even participated in all party activities especially during the assembly elections.
In May 2015, over 500 Congress workers, including Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu along with Congress MLAs Surinder Dawar and Bharat Bhushan had blocked the rail track and stopped New Delhi - Amritsar Swarna Shatabdi Express (12029) near Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib. The leaders were taking part in a state-level ‘rail roko’ agitation against the then SAD-BJP ruling government.
The case was registered against Gogi and other unidentified protesters under section 174 (obstructing running of train) and 147 (trespass and refusal to desist from trespass) of the Railway Act.
After his release, Gogi termed his arrest as a “political vendetta”. “The RPF comes under the rail ministry. SAD-BJP leaders have been exerting pressure on the RPF to target Congress leaders,” he alleged.
RPF investigating officer Vishram Meena said he can’t comment on political issues. “We are doing our duty. In last three months, RPF has arrested three people in different cases of blocking rail traffic”, he said. He added that two SAD workers Jaspal Singh and Jasveer Singh Khanduri were also arrested for blocking train traffic in 2015 for release of Sikh prisoners
First Published: Sep 13, 2017 23:44 IST