Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Punjab unit president Ashwani Kumar Sharma on Tuesday questioned the silence of “those who make a fuss over mob lynchings,” days after party legislator Arun Narang was beaten up and had his clothes torn off allegedly by farmers protesting against the contentious central agricultural laws.
“What happened with BJP MLA Arun Narang in Malout amounts to lynching. Many people were making a fuss over mob lynching. Why are they silent today? We have met and briefed the Governor about the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab,” Sharma told news agency ANI.
On Saturday, Narang was scheduled to address a press conference in Malout when he was surrounded by a mob, which threw black ink at him. The MLA was taken away from the protesting mob to a local shop by police officials, but when he came out, he was assaulted and also had his clothes torn off.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh condemned the incident and directed the police to take action against the culprits. Four members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Sidhupur) have been arrested and its Muktsar unit president Sukhdev Singh and 26 others have been booked in connection with the assault.
The BJP has staged state-wide protests against the chief minister. Narang, on his part, has said he would discuss the matter with the party high command before taking any legal action. Rakesh Tikait, one of the farmers’ leaders spearheading the agitation in Delhi, has, however, alleged that the assault was “staged” by the BJP itself to defame the farmers.
Leaders of the Punjab unit of the BJP, whose government at the Centre passed the three laws last September, have found themselves at the receiving end of the ire of farmers from both Punjab and Haryana, two states which have contributed the maximum number of farmers protesting against the legislations in Delhi since November.