Press Trust of india

Former MLA arrested for ‘assaulting’ woman Sarpanch in Jammu

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Jammu, May 02:  National Conference leader and former MLA Gagan Bhagat was arrested Thursday for allegedly abusing and thrashing a woman Sarpanch in the border belt of R S Pura in Jammu district, officials said.

The alleged incident of thrashing was reported in the area on Saturday but the video, purportedly showing the NC leader attacking Sarpanch Seema Devi and her supporters, went viral on the social media Wednesday, prompting police to register a case.

“He was arrested around 2 pm in R S Pura belt in connection with a case of thrashing (of woman sarpanch and her supporters)”, Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) R S Pura, Sahil Prashur said.

He said the case is being investigated.

The video purportedly showed Bhagat thrashing Devi and her supporters in R S Pura over the issue of taking credit for installing power transformer in Raipur Sajda village in the constituency.

In the video, Bhagat is seen questioning the credentials of an elected Sarpanch of the area for installation of the transformer in the area and entering into verbal brawl and assault.

An FIR was registered against him.

Bhagat wanted to rule the areas by using “muscle power”, Devi told reporters here.

The Sarpanches and Panches of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) led by its president Anil Sharma held protests in R S Pura in support of the action against the NC leader.

“We want the Governor and the DGP to take action against Bhagat. His security should be withdrawn. He is using his security to threaten the people,” Sharma told reporters.

After being expelled from the BJP recently for his “anti-party” activities, former MLA from RS Pura, Bhagat, joined the NC in presence of the party president Farooq Abdullah in December last year.

In December last, Bhagat was served a defamation notice by the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP for levelling “unfounded and abusive” allegations against state party president and state general secretary.

The party had also expelled the former RS Pura MLA allegedly for indiscipline and anti-party activities.

Going against the party line, the MLA had on December 03 moved the Supreme Court challenging the dissolution of State Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik calling it “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.

In August, Bhagat was suspended for three months on the recommendation of the disciplinary committee of the state BJP for his role in the alleged abduction of an ex-serviceman’s daughter.

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