Chandigarh: BJP councillors among 21 to face trial for ‘manhandling’ two Hurriyat leaders

Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
Chandigarh: BJP councillors among 21 to face trial for 'manhandling' two Hurriyat leaders

Twenty-one accused, including Chandigarh BJP councillors, will face trial for allegedly manhandling two Hurriyat Conference leaders. (Representational Image)

TWENTY-ONE accused, including Chandigarh BJP councillors, will face trial for allegedly manhandling two Hurriyat Conference leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in Sector 36 in 2010. The matter is now scheduled for trial evidence on March 2.

The court of Inderjeet Singh, JMIC (Judicial Magistrate First Class), framed the charges against former Chandigarh mayor and present councillor Asha Jaiswal, former councillor Rajinder Kaur, present councillor Sunita Dhawan, Usha Sharma, Meena Sharma, Sanjay Kaul, Sanjeev Rana, Hemant Galav, Amit Rana, Chandan Sandhu, Satyavan Shera, Vijay Bharadwaj, Arvind Rana, Sunil Kansal, Sanjeev Verma, Parvesh Sharma, Dinesh Chauhan, Shumanshu Sharma, Dev Shri, Santosh Sharma and Satinder Singh. All the accused are on bail.

In 2017, the accused had moved discharge application in the case submitting that the FIR against the accused persons was out of political vendetta, and nothing alleged in the FIR happened, while the accused simply raised slogans in favour of their motherland. The JMIC court of Hirdejit Singh on July 29, 2017, had dismissed the discharge application of the accused, and ordered the framing of charges. The chargeseheet against the accused was filed, but then the Chandigarh Police (prosecution) moved an application in the trial court for withdrawing the case against the accused persons. The court of JMIC Saloni Gupta, however, dismissed the application of the Chandigarh Police for withdrawing the case, and ordered the framing of charges.

However, in October 2018, the Chandigarh Police filed a criminal revision against the order of trial court, which dismissed the application of withdrawing the case against accused person. The criminal revision had been filed in the court of Rajeev Goyal, which is still under proceedings, and the next date in the revision hearing is April 7, 2020.

The case

As per the police, the incident dates back to November 25, 2010, when Hurriyat Conference leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Bilal Lone were allegedly manhandled by a group of activists who stormed into a seminar being conducted at Kisan Bhawan in Sector 35, Chandigarh. Mirwaiz was in Chandigarh to address a seminar on Pakistan-India relations and Kashmir.

According to reports, the incident happened when Mirwaiz started addressing a seminar on Kashmir and Indo-Pak relations. The organisers immediately jumped in to save Mirwaiz. Following the incident, a total chaos prevailed inside the hall for close to 30 minutes as the protesters shouted slogans against Mirwaiz, Hurriyat Conference and Pakistan, threw stones and hurled flower pots. The Chandigarh Police then rushed in more constables to control the situation. The police later arrested nearly 22 activists, including some women, and an FIR was registered at the Sector 36 police station under sections 147, 149 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code and section 3 of the Public Property Damage Act on the complaint of Kheta Singh, organiser of the event.