A brother of a soldier killed in the Pathankot terror attack and the former's wife were assaulted and injured by a travel agent and his family members in Punjab's Gurdaspur district, police said on Monday. Police have since booked the agent and nine others, including women, for the crime.
The assault on Hardip Singh and his wife Kulwinder Kaur was caught on closed-circuit television, a clipping of which went viral on social media on Sunday.
Hardip is the younger brother of Havildar Kulwant Singh, who was among the five Defence Security Corps personnel killed by suspected Pakistani terrorists in an attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on January 2, 2016.
Official sources said Punjab Police on Monday submitted a detailed report to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh regarding the alleged assault.
Hardip and his wife were attacked by travel agent Gurnam Singh and others near the Bhaini Mian Khan police station on Saturday. Kulwinder was thrashed by women and other men in full public view.
Residents of village Chak Sharif in Gurdaspur district, the couple had filed a complaint against the travel agent for duping them of Rs 9 lakh on the pretext of sending Hardip abroad, police official Vijay Kumar said.
"Acting on the Chief Minister's directives, the DGP ordered immediate investigation into the matter. It was found that Hardip had given Rs 9 lakh to travel agent Gurnam Singh of Chak Sharif to send him to the US in 2015," a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said.
He said after the accused failed to send Hardip abroad, he returned Rs 3.4 lakh but deducted Rs 1.6 lakh as expenses. Gurnam signed an affidavit to promise refund of remaining Rs 4 lakh in due course of time but did not on one pretext or other, he added.
The spokesperson said that Hardip threatened Gurnam with a police complaint and even though Chak Sharif Sarpanch tried to resolve the issue he failed.
After a heated argument between both the parties, the sarpanch advised Hardip to file a police complaint.
"The assault took place when Hardip and his wife stopped at a shop on Saturday to recharge their cell phone on way to the police station. Gurnam and his family members, including women, beat up Hardip and his wife inside the shop, which was captured on CCTV," the CMO spokesperson said.
The case was filed on Sunday under Sections 323, 341, 354, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code dealing with assault and other offences at Bhaini Mian Khan police station.
"Ten accused named in the FIR based on the statement of Kulwinder Kaur are absconding and police teams have been dispatched to arrest them," the report submitted to the Chief Minister added.