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Congress demands arrest of Punjab minister over attack on lawyer

Sunday, 11 May 2014 - 6:10pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
Punjab Congress today demanded the arrest of Industries Minister, Anil Joshi in a case of attack on Amritsar lawyer Vaneet Mahajan, who had earlier filed a case of dual voting against Joshi.

Punjab Congress today demanded the arrest of Industries Minister, Anil Joshi in a case of attack on Amritsar lawyer Vaneet Mahajan, who had earlier filed a case of dual voting against Joshi.

Mahajan and his brother Avneesh were travelling in their car along the court road in Amritsar yesterday when they were attacked by a group following which police booked eight men, including a BJP councillor of the holy city in the case.

State Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa said it was shocking that Mahajan was attacked within no time of his claiming at a press conference in Amritsar "that he would be assaulted by the musclemen of Joshi".

Joshi has denied involvement in the attack saying he had nothing to do with it.

Vaneet Mahajan and his colleague advocate Sandeep Gorsi had filed a case against Joshi, his wife and seven members of his family in a dual vote case. A court in Amritsar, later, had issued bailable warrants against Joshi and his kin.

Bajwa urged the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab to direct the police to take immediate action against Joshi.

In a statement, he also sought that a case registered against Gorsi and Congress's Amritsar Municipal Councillor, Gurinder Rishi, be withdrawn immediately.

An attempt to murder case was registered against Gorsi on a complaint of Rakesh Bhardwaj, a former Private Assistant of Joshi, alleging that on Friday, Gorsi and Rishi of Congress had made a murderous attack on him.

Stating that "lawlessness and goondaism" was prevailing in the state, Bajwa said, "Joshi is now trying to scuttle of voices of the two lawyers who had exposed this grave irregularity. This is not acceptable in a democratic set up." Bajwa also said that the Congress would not be mute spectator to the "atrocities being committed by the henchmen of the ruling alliance" and warned that his partymen would take to streets and immobilise the administration. 

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at BJP leader Arun Jaitely's "silence" over the attack on a lawyer and a "false FIR against another at the behest of his protege and tainted minister Anil Joshi".

Amarinder, who contested for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat against BJP's Arun Jaitley, said that the senior BJP leader "voices his opinion on each and every thing that takes place under the sun, but has maintained an intriguing silenceover the recent incidents of murderous assault on a lawyer and false case against another, who happen to be his professional colleagues as he (Jaitley) himself is a lawyer".

"Jaitely's silence on the issue will only amount to his acquiescence and approval of whatever Joshi has been doing in Amritsar," Amarinder said in a separate statement.

The former Chief Minister observed that given his posturing as an aspiring representative of the people of Amritsar, "Jaitely is not expected to maintain a silence on such a serious issue".
"Even as a lawyer, he should have at least had some empathy for his fellow colleagues who were being victimised," he said.

Amarinder asked Jaitely to "tame people like Joshi" failing which there could be "dangerous repercussions for peace in the holy city".




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