Punjab Police withdraw security for Ludhiana MLA who 'justified' Nihang attack on cops

The gunmen themselves sought permission to withdraw from duty

Simarjit-Singh-Bains Ludhaina MLA Simarjit Singh Bains | Facebook

A day after Ludhiana MLA Simarjit Singh Bains 'justified' the attack on police by a group of Nihangs, calling it a public backlash against police's alleged atrocities, his security cover of four gunmen has been withdrawn by the Ludhiana police.

Ludhiana Police Commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said the gunmen sought permission to withdraw themselves from duty saying they felt offended by the lawmaker's comments against police and trivialising the incident of chopping off the hand of a cop.

“Security was withdrawn as all four gunmen gave a written communication saying they don't want to be engaged with an MLA who 'insulted' and spoke against Punjab Police. Their request has been accepted. However, owing to protocol, four gunmen of Home Guard cadre are likely to be given to Bains,” said Aggarwal.

Speaking to THE WEEK on condition of anonymity, a constable, who was among the four guarding the MLA, said, “It was so humiliating for us. We stood guard as he rebuked and insulted police during an interview. Owing to our duty we couldn't counter his claims. Since then, guarding him became demeaning. ASI Harjeet Singh has faced the biggest trauma of his life while he stood guard for lakhs of residents. We are used to working without much appreciation, but we cannot be humiliated like this. I could not serve him anymore. I would rather be on the road on COVI|D-19 duty than guard a man who disrespects 'khaki'.”

Repeated attempts to contact Bains proved futile, while one of his close aides said the lawmaker's statement was being misinterpreted. “He did not justify the act, but in order to avoid any such instances in the future, had asked the cops to introspect and see why there is so much pent-up anger amongst public,” said his aide.

Bains had, in a video, said that Nihang attack was a public backlash against the police force that was known for fake encounters, robbing, thrashing and humiliating public. Various cabinet ministers had demanded that an FIR be lodged against him, but Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh is yet to take a call.