Punjab: Trouble ahead for Simarjeet Bains, his Lok Insaf Party

The MLA from Punjab has been accused of raping a 44-year-old woman multiple times when she had approached him seeking help in a property dispute case.

The Ludhiana city police, in its chargesheet submitted in the rape case against Lok Insaf Party (LIP) MLA, Simarjeet Singh Bains and others, have submitted that the probe till now has shown that dates, timings and call recordings submitted by the victim as evidence were found matching with the call details and chat records of the accused.

The chargesheet, which submitted in the court of JMIC Harsimran Kaur, further detailed that the mobile tower locations of the accused and the victim have also been found matching with the areas and timings provided by the victim on those particular dates.

Explaining why Bains and others named in the FIR have not been arrested till date despite a case having been registered in July, the police submitted that arresting the MLA can create a law and order problem. “Accused Simarjeet Singh Bains is incumbent MLA from Atam Nagar and he is elected representative of the people. He cannot run anywhere and other accused are also active members of his party. Hence, arresting them can anger his supporters and it can create a law and order problem. Hence, summons should be issued and they should be called to the court),” reads the chargesheet, originally in Punjabi, submitted by Ludhiana police, against Bains, his brothers Karamjit Singh and Paramjit Singh, and four others.

The police submitted that as per the investigations carried out by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by ADCP crime, Rupinder Kaur Bhatti, call records, mobile phone tower locations and WhatsApp chat details procured by the police’s cyber cell from telecom companies have been found matching with the dates and timings claimed by the victim in her complaint.

“A report on call records and other details from the mobile phone of  the complainant are also being submitted in a sealed envelope with the challan,” the police submitted in the court.

The chargesheet further says that the victim had submitted 18 call recordings as evidence, which were being probed.

“Two WhatsApp messages were also sent from Bains’ number to the woman on October 1 asking her to come around noon, but not to his office but to the house of Jasbir Kaur,” adds the police document.

Police have further submitted that the mobile phone tower locations and chat records of another accused, Karamjit Singh, the brother of the MLA, were also found matching with the location and dates provided by the complainant, who alleged that he had visited her house to threaten her on November 26, 2020, and used to send her objectionable messages and make video calls on WhatsApp.

Police has further submitted that the call records and tower location of another accused, Bains’ personal assistant, Gogi, have been found matching with dates and area provided by the complainant who alleged that Gogi had visited her father’s house on November 16, 2020 and forced him to withdraw the police complaint.

“Other call records and details also show that the complainant and Bains and other accused spoke multiple times on different dates from time to time,’ concludes the challan.

The 44-year-old complainant, who is a widow, had submitted that she was ‘raped multiple times’ by the MLA whom she had approached seeking help in property dispute case.

‘From August 2020 to October 2020, the accused raped her 10-12 times,” says police chargesheet, while reproducing woman’s complaint.

She also submitted complaint to Punjab CM  in September 2020 but claimed that in ‘October 2020, Ludhiana police forced her to enter an agreement and settle the matter with Sukhchain Singh, with whom whom she was involved in the property dispute.

She then started protesting outside office of Ludhiana police commissioner and also moved court. FIR was finally registered on July 10 this year after court orders. FIR was registered against the MLA, his brothers- Karamjit Singh and Paramjit Singh- and four others— Baljinder Kaur, Jasbir Kaur, Sukhchain Singh and Gogi Sharma PA- under the sections 376 (rape), 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (conspiracy) of IPC, at division number 6 police station.

Calling it a ‘total collapse’ of Punjab Police and state’s law and order machinery, advocate Harish Rai Dhanda, also Akali Dal’s candidate for Punjab polls 2022 from Atam Nagar (from where Bains is currently the MLA), who has been representing the victim in the court, said, “What more needs to be said when police is directing the court to issue summons instead of arresting him. As per law, arrest and custodial interrogation are must in a rape case but here the police has expressed its helplessness in arresting the accused just because he is an MLA, on the pretext that it might cause law and order problem. But nevertheless, the call details have proved that there is enough evidence.”

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for November 18.

MLA Bains, and his brother, Balwinder, have denied the allegations and accused the Akali Dal of using a woman to settle political scores. “It is a new low in Punjab politics by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)… using a woman to settle political scores. The SAD has lost its base in Punjab. The SAD tried to win the 2017 assembly polls by trying to get political mileage from incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and firing at protesters but failed. They have now involved a woman and are using her as a weapon to defame my brother. Everyone knows on whose behest the woman is acting. Her advocate Harish Rai Dhanda is a SAD candidate for Punjab polls,” said MLA Bains.

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