Bathinda man booked for uploading Pannu’s video

BATHINDA: A Bathinda resident has been booked by Punjab police for uploading video showing IAS officer Kahan Singh Pannu assaulted by ‘stranded pilgrims’ on internet website YouTube.

The case has been registered under Section 295-A hurting religious sentiments) and provisions of Information Technology (IT) Act.

The accused has been identified as Baljinder Singh Kanakwalia, resident of village Kanakwal in Bathinda district. The video clip shows Pannu being beaten by unknown assailants. Of the four attackers, three were turbaned Sikhs, two were baptized and Pannu was being beaten even after he was stripped off his turban.

A spokesperson of the police said FIR has been lodged against the Bathinda resident at SAS Nagar and it was yet to be ascertained whether there was some malicious intention behind uploading the video clip or he only wanted to make the incident public.

Kamaljit Singh Sangha, MD Punjab Cooperative Bank said it seemed that Pannu was being targeted as he was continuously being thrashed by the assailants after his identity was confirmed.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has already ordered the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to get to the root of the incident to ensure exemplary punishment to the culprits.

Partap Singh Bajwa, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Spokesman of the PPCC have demanded judicial enquiry into the attack on Pannu. They said that the attack smacked of a conspiracy as it was ironical that Pannu was assaulted in the presence of three Punjab police guards.

Pannu, who was overseeing the rescue operation, was roughed up by a group of stranded male pilgrims, including a handful of Nihang Sikhs, when he objected to the group moving up in the queue, allegedly ahead of the elderly and sick evacuees.

He said while he was talking to the pilgrims present at Gobindghat and enquiring the problems they were facing, a group of few men manhandled him saying he had made ‘objectionable’ comment about Sikhism.