NRI assaulted in Himachal: Punjab Police registers Zero FIR; minister writes to CM Sukhu

A Zero FIR can be filed at any police station, irrespective of the place of incident or jurisdiction, and can later be transferred to the appropriate police station.
Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 15:56 IST

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Chandigarh: The Punjab Police on Sunday registered a Zero FIR in connection with the alleged assault on a Punjab-origin NRI, who alleged that he was beaten by a group of men over parking in Himachal Pradesh's Dalhousie.

Punjab NRI Affairs Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal also wrote to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, seeking his intervention for a thorough inquiry.

The Punjab Police registered the Zero FIR under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 148 (rioting) of the Indian Penal Code.

The case has been registered at the Ranjit Avenue police station in Amritsar.

A Zero FIR can be filed at any police station, irrespective of the place of incident or jurisdiction, and can later be transferred to the appropriate police station.

Dhaliwal's letter came in the wake of non-resident Indian (NRI) Kawaljit Singh, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Amritsar, claiming that he was targeted as he was a Punjabi.

The Himachal Pradesh Police, however, has maintained the incident was not linked with any "inter-state or inter-community dispute".

Dhaliwal on Sunday visited the hospital where Singh is undergoing treatment.

In his letter to Sukhu, drawing his attention to the incident, the Punjab minister said, "As you are well aware that in this peak summer season tourists from Punjab and all across the world come to visit Himachal Pradesh. This highly condemnable and unfortunate incident shall impact tourism in the state if we collectively do not take strict action against the culprits." "Therefore, I shall be highly grateful if you look into the matter personally and please direct the concerned authorities to thoroughly enquire the matter. I would also request some of your precious time to personally discuss this unpleasant incident," he added.

Dhaliwal said thousands of people from Punjab visit tourist places such as Shimla, Manali, Kasauli, and Dalhousie every day and such incidents are not good for tourism.

Singh and his Spanish wife, who have been living in Spain for 25 years, returned to Punjab recently. Singh said he had gone to Dalhousie with his wife and a relative a few days ago.

According to his allegations, he was attacked by a group of around 100 people following an argument over parking.

He also accused the Himachal Pradesh Police of apathy.

However, an IPS officer from the state on Saturday claimed this was not the case.

"Singh had come to Khajjiar in Chamba district and was doing palm reading for some women. Someone felt offended by this act and there was a scuffle. Later, both parties reached a compromise in front of the police," Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Santosh Patial had said.

"He (SIngh) had given in writing that he wanted no legal action and left," the officer had said.

"There is nothing like an inter-state or inter-community dispute and tourists are welcome in Himachal," Patial had said, dismissing the row as a "stray incident".

On Saturday, Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia also demanded that the Himachal Pradesh government take action on the matter.

Published 16 June 2024, 15:56 IST

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