‘How Can One Obstruct 50 Cops?’ Wife of Journo Arrested at Singhu

Delhi Police claims that following a scuffle, Punia had tried to drag a constable towards the Singhu protest site. 

2 min read

“How can a single person impede the work of over fifty policemen?” asks the wife of freelance journalist Mandeep Punia, who was picked up by the Delhi Police from the Singhu Border on Saturday, 30 January, on charges of causing injury and obstruction to security forces.

Even as Leela Shree, Punia’s wife, spoke to The Quint, at a protest staged outside the Delhi Police Headquarters, the scribe was remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi Court.

The bail application of Punia, who could be seen being dragged by the police in a now viral video, will be heard on 1 February.

Punia has been slapped with IPC Section 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to any person being a public servant in the discharge of his duty), 353( Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.)

‘Hearing Started Before Lawyer Arrived’

Leela Shree asserted that although Punia was slated to appear before the court at 2 pm, the police had ushered him in within the court premises at 1:30 pm, causing the proceeding to begin even before the scribe’s lawyers could arrive.

“Although he was asked to appear before the court at 2 pm, the police ushered him in at 1:30 and he exited the court at 1:55, just five minutes after our lawyer went inside. Why couldn’t they wait till 2 pm, when that was the designated time?”
Leela Shree, Punia’s wife

Recounting the developments that unfolded on Saturday, 30 January, evening, Leela Shree said that it was around 6:30 pm when she received a call, saying that her husband had been picked up by the police.

From then till 4 in the morning, she had little clue as to where Punia was.

What Is the Delhi Police Saying?

According to the FIR, a copy of which has been seen by The Quint, volunteers from the Singhu protest site had allegedly made repeated attempts to cross the barricades that were placed around the area.

The FIR claims that although the volunteers and protesters were repeatedly asked not to come near the barricades, they had formed groups of 10 to 15 people. These groups, the FIR alleges, had attempted to cross the barricades several times, but were unsuccessful in doing so.

According to the FIR,  at around 6:30 pm on Saturday, a group of protesters once again tried to break the barricades and after they were stopped, one person got into a scuffle with a constable and started to drag the latter towards the protest site.

The FIR says that while everybody returned, one person who tried to drag the said constable had fallen into a pit on the road and was identified as Mandeep Punia. Three policemen were injured in the scuffle.

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