Aam Aadmi Party's Manwinder Giaspura has won from the Payal seat in Ludhiana district in the Punjab Assembly elections.
He won by a margin of over 30,000 votes.
Giaspura has an interesting backstory.
About 11 years ago, Giaspura, then in his mid 30s, was working as a textile engineer at a multinational corporation in Gurgaon, Haryana. By coincidence, Giaspura is said to have met a delivery boy who told him about a "deserted village of Sardars" in Rewari district.
Giaspura went with the delivery boy to the village, near the Pataudi-Rewari road and discovered the Hondh cluster and the main Chhillar village.
It turned out that the small village, mainly inhabited by a small number of Sikh families who had settled there after Partition, was wiped out during the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom. As many as 32 Sikhs are said to have been killed in the massacre. Their homes and the gurdwara were also burnt down.
Giaspura reportedly uploaded pictures of the village on Facebook and appealed to news organisations and Sikh organisations to take this matter up.
He subsequently became part of the Hondh Chhillar Coordination Committee.
According to a report by Times of India, Giaspura was asked to leave his job, though the company denied it had anything to do with his work in exposing the massacre.
Move Towards Activism and Politics
Giaspura subsequently turned to activism and raised a variety of issues concerning the Sikh community, such as the release of political prisoners and police inaction in sacrilege cases.
In 2015, the Shiv Sena in Ludhiana had filed a case against him for wearing a T-shirt featuring an image of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Giaspura, however, maintained that there was no crime in wearing or distributing T-shirts with Bhindranwale's image.
Giaspura became associated with the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) led by Simarjit Bains, that is strong in Ludhiana.
In 2019, he contested the Lok Sabha elections on an LIP ticket from the Fatehgarh Sahib constituency and stood third, getting 1.42 lakh votes.
Giaspura left LIP and joined AAP in March 2021. He would now be among the most vociferous voices in the party on Panthic issues as well as one of its prominent Dalit faces.