A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA was thrashed and his clothes were torn, allegedly by a group of people anguished by the Centre’s farm laws in Punjab’s Malout town in Muktsar Sahib district on Saturday.
Arun Narang, BJP MLA from Abohar constituency, was on his way to the party office to attend an event. As he reached the office in a car, a group of demonstrators who were protesting against the Centre’s farm laws near the office surrounded him and as he stepped out of his vehicle, they threw ink on him, said the police.
Mr. Narang with his supporters ran into a shop. The protesters thrashed him and tore his clothes as soon as he stepped outside the shop.
“As per the programme, Mr. Narang was supposed to address a press conference at the party office in Malout. The incident happened outside the office, where a few people were sitting and protesting. The protesters assaulted him, but the police personnel deployed there evacuated him safely,” Mr. Rajpal Singh, Superintendent of Police (Investigation) told, The Hindu.
“So far, no arrests have been made but some of the suspects have been identified and once the FIR is registered, we will surely take necessary action. Injuries to Mr. Narang can’t be ruled out. Two of our police officials sustained injuries,” he added.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned the incident and warned strict action against those trying to disturb the State’s peace by taking the law into their hands.
Even as he urged farmers not to indulge in such acts of violence, the Chief Minister appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urgently resolve the crisis triggered by the farm laws to prevent the situation from escalating further.
Capt. Singh directed Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta to take strict action, under the law, against the perpetrators, who also clashed with the police personnel who tried to rescue the MLA.
The DGP later said a criminal cases will be registered against the suspects who assaulted the MLA and police officers. He said statements of local BJP leaders were being recorded and relevant sections of the law would be imposed on its basis.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) termed the incident as deplorable and demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident to fix responsibility for the failure of the State police in protecting the dignity of an elected representative.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal appealed to everyone to exercise restraint to ensure the peace and communal harmony of the State was not disturbed. He also accused the State police for failing to do its duty even as he maintained the Congress government had failed miserably as far as maintaining law and order was concerned.
BJP state president Ashwani Sharma said, “It’s a sad day in the State’s history of touching the lowest ebb of decency and decorum. The State government has totally failed to protect law and order and the Chief Minister should immediately resign.”
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