Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu on Sunday said he was assaulted by “mischievous elements” who heckled him, and tossed his turban during a during a “Jan Sansad’’ programme at the Singhu border near Delhi, reported PTI. The turbans of party MLA Kulbir Singh and MP Amritsar Aujla were also removed, reported the Indian Express.
Bittu said the Congress leaders had gone to the Singhu border, where thousands of farmers are protesting against the new farm laws, to attend an event at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Memorial. But as soon as they reached there, a group of protestors confronted the politicians, and asked them to go back.
Four of the protestors carried weapons, Bittu told The Indian Express. “A man with a jeans and red sweatshirt was about to take out weapon when I was being manhandled, but a Sikh man saw this and shouted at him, following which he ran away,” the Congress MP added. “There were good people also like that man who shouted at the assailant and another one from whom I borrowed his winter cloth to cover my head after my turban was removed.”
Following the attack, some protestors escorted him to his vehicle. But a group of protestors surrounded his car, and began attacking it with sticks, Bittu said. according to PTI. The car’s glass panes and rear windscreen were broken, while the front windshield was also damaged, he alleged.
Bitu said the assault was a “plot to kill him”. “These are pure goonda elements [hooligans] who attacked us,” the Congress MP told The Indian Express. “They don’t know anything about the laws nor they know any spellings. They are the people who are out to defame Punjab.”
The politician claimed that the assailants were “foreign-funded elements” who had supported the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections. AAP leader Tarn Taran was present at the site, when his turban was removed, Bittu alleged.
The Ludhiana MP said that farmer unions should do something to ensure that such elements do not create any trouble on January 26. Farmers will take out a massive tractor rally on Republic Day to up their ante against the contentious farm laws.
“We are Punjabis, we did not initiate any action, did not file any FIR,” Bittu said. “But when it comes to Delhi Police or paramilitary forces, they will not spare.”
The Congress leader added that his visit to the Singhu border had nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ agitation. “We were observing separate dharna in their support,” Bittu said in a Facebook post. “Noted personalities like Prashant Bhushan and Medha Patkar are heading the Kisan Sansad. We went there only after they approached our party high command, which directed us to go.”
Hundreds of thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of Capital for around two months in protest against the farm laws, which they say will hurt their livelihoods and help big companies. The government, which says the agriculture reforms will boost farmer incomes, has agreed to suspend the laws, but the farmers have said New Delhi must repeal them.
The Congress, which has opposed the laws from the beginning, has organised an indefinite dharna – parallel to the one by farmers – at the Jantar Mantar since December 6, according to The Indian Express. Three party leaders are sitting at the site round-the-clock.