Punjab ex-minister Rana Sodhi among 7 booked for poll violence
Due to the clash between two groups, polling had remained suspended for about half an hour at a border village in Ferozepur during Punjab assembly elections
Former Punjab minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, who fought the assembly elections on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Ferozepur Urban segment, and former chief parliamentary secretary Sukhpal Singh Nannu are among seven people booked on Friday on charges of assault and intimidation, nearly two weeks after the incident that occurred on the polling day.
The Ferozepur police have also registered a case of illegal detention against the complainant, Surjit Singh, on the basis of a counter complaint submitted by Rana Gurmit. Representing Guru Har Sahai assembly segment since 2002, Rana Gurmit was the sports minister under Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government and had joined the BJP ahead of the elections after being excluded from chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s cabinet.
According to the first FIR, Surjit Singh, a resident of Jallo Kee village, was allegedly thrashed by Rana Gurmit, Nannu and five other people at the border village in Ferozepur on February 20 (polling day). Due to the clash between the two groups, polling had remained suspended for about half an hour, and timely action by the local administration had prevented any untoward incident.
After preliminary police investigation into the counter complaints submitted by both parties, Rana Gurmit, Nannu, Satnam Singh, Vanzara Singh, Sonu Singh, Mangat Singh and Surinder Singh were booked under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the basis of a medical examination report. Meanwhile, Surjit and other unidentified people were also booked under Section 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Earlier, Rana Gurmit and his Congress rival Parminder Singh Pinki were booked for violating the model code of conduct after they entered a polling booth with security guards in tow when voting was underway on February 20.