Punjab panel records speaker’s version on assembly clash

Chandigarh, March 21 (IANS) The Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes Thursday recorded the statement of Punjab Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal in the incident related to an assault on a policeman allegedly by legislators last week.

Head constable Jai Pal, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste, had complained to the commission about the assault within the assembly complex and alleged casteist remarks against him by some Congress legislators March 13.
The incident took place when some Congress members brought a woman, who was assaulted by Punjab Police personnel in Tarn Taran district March 3, into the assembly premises without proper entry permit.
When security personnel tried to remove her from the Congress legislature party office, a clash ensued between them and Congress legislators.
Commission chairman Rajesh Bagha and two members said they recorded the statement of the speaker.
“The victim (Jai Pal) was working under the superintendence and control of Punjab Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) and discharging duty allocated by secretary of the Vidhan Sabha, and it was imperative to record their statements to further investigate the complaint,” a commission spokesperson said.
Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal told the commission about the sequence of events, including assault on the constable by a group of Congress legislators.
Following the complaint from Pal to the speaker, which he forwarded to Chandigarh Police, a case was registered against the lawmakers.
The Congress, the main opposition in the assembly, has been boycotting the session after its legislators were suspended from the house following the incident.