CHANDIGARH: A woman was allegedly dragged out of her home, lashed with a belt, punched and kicked by a group of men, including the brother of a Congress leader, in Punjab's Muktsar district over a loan, police said on Saturday.
The attack Friday sparked outrage after a video of the assault over an alleged unpaid loan of Rs 23,000 surfaced on social media, with the Opposition parties criticising the "deteriorating" law and order in the state. The police claimed to have nabbed six men, including the brother of a Congress member of the Mukstar municipal council.
In the video, the 35-year-old was seen being assaulted in the middle of a road as her son kept watching helplessly, crying and saying, "My mother is being beaten up." The woman's son apparently shot the video clip, in which she is seen being pulled by her hair.
One of the accused even sat on her when she was lying on the road. An elderly woman, apparently her mother, is seen trying to stop the men from thrashing her. But she is also slapped and pushed by one of them.
According to the police, the woman was brutally assaulted after an argument over money between her and the wife of one of the accused. The victim owed Rs 23,000 to Suresh Chaudhary, the councillor's brother, police said.
Chaudhary and five others have been arrested. The remaining four accused, including councillor Rakesh Chaudhary, are on the run, said Senior Superintendent of Police Manjit Singh Dhesi.
Dhesi said cases had been registered against the 10 accused under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 452 (house trespass), 354 (assault to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Accused in the video from Muktsar have been arrested by @PunjabPoliceInd & booked for attempt to murder u/s 307 IPC. No one is above the law and such acts of violence will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/zxZvqJmiQi
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 15, 2019
The six arrested were produced in a local court on Saturday and sent to a two-day police remand, the SSP said. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned the incident and said such acts of violence would not be tolerated.
State women's commission chairperson Manisha Gulati said it would ensure strict action against the accused so that nobody would dare to repeat the inhuman act"."Gulati said the police have been asked to take strict action and a member of the commission also met the woman in Muktsar.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lashed out at the Congress-led government and alleged that the law and order situation in the state is deteriorating."Never came across an incident in which a woman is being beaten up so brutally. It is the real picture of the law and order situation in the state," SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said. "Women are not feeling safe at their homes. But the government is least bothered. It should ensure time-bound and exemplary punishment to the accused," Cheema added.
AAP legislator and leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema asked the chief minister to quit the home portfolio if he cannot prevent such incidents. "The law and order situation is pathetic in the state," he said.