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Mob attack on police station: Akali sarpanch arrested, released, shown as ‘escaped’

In all, the police had booked 44 persons and arrested 10 of them for the Monday night attack.

punjab Updated: Aug 17, 2017 10:59 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Tarn Taran
Akali sarpanch arrested,sarpanch 'escaped',Mob attack
The arrested protesters included the village sarpanch, Manjit Kaur, who belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). (Representative image)

The police here allegedly released — and then showing as escaped — 10 arrested members of a group that had stormed the police station in Chohla Sahib on Monday night in protest against the arrest of three persons of a nearby village in a murder case.

The arrested protesters included the village sarpanch, Manjit Kaur, who belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The party’s MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura on Tuesday led another group that wanted them released and even locked the police station. In all, the police had booked 44 persons and arrested 10 of them for the Monday night attack. After Tuesday’s a protest by hundreds of SAD workers, they were released, it is learnt. The FIR says they managed to flee on Monday night itself, “taking advantage of dark”.

In his complaint about the mob attack, head constable Satnam Singh said, “Sarpanch Manjit Kaur and her aides came to the police station around 10.30 pm on Monday night and started shouting. They also an assaulted the policemen and tried to release three accused arrested in a murder case from the lock-up.” Those named in the FIR include Jasvir Kaur, Daljit Kaur, Baljit Kaur, Kulwinder Kaur, Simarjit Kaur, Davinder Singh, Milkha Singh, Jasbir Singh and Kabal Singh; under sections 148 (rioting), 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault to deter public servant from discharge of duty) and others under the Indian Penal Code.

Tuesday’s dharna led by MP Ranjit Barhampura and his son, former SAD MLA Ravinder Singh Barhampura, sought release of not only those who carried out the Monday night mob attack, but also of the trio arrested in the murder case over which the mob had protested originally. Addressing the protesters, MP Brahampura said, “The police have arrested three members of a family of Vareya village in a murder case even though the inquiry is pending.”

On Wednesday, he told HT, “Villagers led by the sarpanch reached the police station peacefully over a demand of releasing the family, but the police did not pay any heed. The cops threatened and thrashed the villagers and even misbehaved the women. They are working under political pressure.”

However, station house officer (SHO) Sukhraj Singh denied political pressure: “After receiving a report from senior police officers in a murder case, we arrested the three accused. But the villagers carried out an assault on the police team and also tried to release the three from our custody. We therefore booked the mob.” He stuck to the official version about the “escape”.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 10:53 IST