Punjab cops thrash govt official, suspended

Bathinda, May 11 (PTI) A government official and his driver were today allegedly manhandled by Punjab police during a religious procession here.

Public Relations Minister of Punjab, Bikram Singh Majithia
Public Relations Minister of Punjab, Bikram Singh Majithia

Assistant Public Relations Officer (APRO) Gurdas Singh, who was on duty to facilitate the media during the religious procession, was pulled out of his official vehicle and manhandled by policemen, sources said.

Singh claimed that he was doing his duty when policemen, without provocation, thrashed him and his driver.

However, police said that the official tried to bring his vehicle in the procession for which he was stopped.

Taking note of the incident, Punjab police has placed under suspension four cops–Inspector Zora Singh, ASI Makhan Singh, constables Amritpal Singh and Sukhbir Singh.

The APRO has filed a complaint with the police in the matter.

He was on duty for ‘darshan yatra’, showcasing relics of three Sikh gurus, which had started from Patiala on May 6 and will cover the entire state before culminating at Anandpur Sahib on June 18.

Meanwhile, officers of Punjab Information and Public Relations Department strongly condemned the incident and sought stringent action against the guilty.

In a joint statement, officers of 2011 batch said that the APRO was officially deputed by the department to ensure coverage of the yatra but the manner in which the police officers “dragged” him out of his official vehicle and “manhandled” him clearly reflected their “insensitivity” towards other departments.

The incident was totally “unwarranted” and “unjustified” and the perpetrators must be given exemplary punishment, they said.

Demanding immediate action against the guilty cops, they sought intervention of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Information and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

They welcomed the decision to place the four cops under suspension, demanding immediate termination of services of those guilty and that a case be registered against them for “tarnishing” the image of state government.