Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 29
Even as the controversy over Congress MLAs fiercely opposing demolition by the Municipal Corporation staff is still fresh, former Mayor Suresh Sehgal has sparked another row by publicly hitting a building inspector and hurling abuses at him.
Building inspector Dinesh Joshi along with draftsman Sanjiv Kumar had last evening gone to Shivrajgarh colony, where reportedly an illegal construction was being done in a house. The owner of the house called up Suresh Sehgal to the spot. Sehgal held the inspector by his shirt, dragged him, punched on his face and pushed him down on road.
As the building inspector reportedly attempted to call higher officials and seek police help, 68-year-old Sehgal, who has been a wrestler too, snatched his phone and threw it down. In this melee, he also kept hurling abuses at the MC official.
The owner of the house Sulakshan Sharma also joined in and roughed him up. Sharme also charged Joshi of asking for Rs 10,000 bribe, a charge denied by MC officials.
The entire episode was recorded on camera, two videos of which went viral.
Building inspector Joshi, who suffered bruises on his arm, back of head and neck, got an FIR registered against Sehgal and Sharma under Sections 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant), 332 (causing hurt), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
However, dissatisfied over no arrest today despite imposition of non-bailable offences, MC officials met Mayor Jagdish Raja and Commissioner Diprava Lakra in the evening and told them that they would not resume work till police action is inititated. They also demanded that while Joshi had got lodged an FIR in his personal capacity, the MC authorities should also take up his case with the police, to which they agreed.
Joshi said, "The owner had been issued several notices regarding illegal construction. He had not got any building plan approved. He was covering a 5-ft public lane - which is MC's property - at the back of his 4-marla house. I had gone to the spot as senior officials told me that they had received a complaint that he was working in the night or on weekends to dodge the MC officials."
The inspector said, "The accused have still not returned my documents and diary that fell off during the melee."
Sehgal represented BJP when he was Mayor from 1997-2002, before moving to Congress and then to SAD. Though he had again started supporting Congress, no party after today's episode was ready to accept him as its member. Mayor Raja, who represents Congress, visited his place to express his support. All Congress MLAs too have come on his side.
Building inspector sought bribe, alleges Sehgal
In his defence, Sehgal said, "I know I have mouthed bad words and pushed the MC officer, but it was all because of his wrongdoings. He had sought bribe from a resident, who was just repairing his house after it had developed cracks. The police have lodged a one-sided FIR."
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