Haryana ex-legislator surrenders after 3-week stand-offMay 27th, 2011 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS
Rohtak (Haryana), May 27 (IANS) After daring Haryana’s law-enforcing agencies for nearly three weeks, a former legislator, accused of murder and rioting, finally surrendered before senior police officials here Friday but only after a massive show of strength by his supporters.
Hundreds of supporters of former Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) legislator Balbir Singh aka Bali Pahalwan, who had represented Meham assembly seat earlier, accompanied him on SUVs, tractors, trucks and buses from his village Mohra as he headed to this Haryana town for his surrender.
Rohtak range Inspector General of Police V.Kamaraja confirmed the former legislator’s surrender.
“Yes he has surrendered today (Friday),” Kamaraja told IANS.
Balbir Singh, himself a former Haryana police constable, was absconding since May 6 when he and his one dozen supporters allegedly opened fire on shopkeepers at the grain market in Kalanaur town in Rohtak district, killing one person.
The indiscriminate firing took place following a dispute over money between the shopkeepers and the former legislator and his supporters.
Following this, Bali Pahalwan, as he is popularly called, stationed himself in his palatial house in Mohra village, 25 km from this Haryana town, and the entire village, including scores of women, children and aged people, and his supporters stood guard in an open defiance of the police who sought to arrest him.
The stand-off was such that Haryana Police, including its senior officers, could not dare to enter Mokhra village to arrest Pahalwan. His supporters, including women, sat on vigil day and night, armed with weapons, swords, sticks and stones.
Haryana Police had earlier booked Pahalwan and others for murder, attempt to murder and rioting following the Kalanaur incident but drew flak from various quarters of failing to arrest a man accused of a heinous crime like murder.
But Pahalwan claimed that he had been framed in the murder case under a political conspiracy by the ruling Congress leaders.
“I was present at the grain market in Kalanaur on the day of the incident. But I did not fire at anyone or kill anyone,” Pahalwan said earlier.
Kamaraja earlier told the media that police could have raided Pahalwan’s village and house but did not do so as women and children were among hundreds of people resisting the police attempt to arrest him. He said that a raid could have led to violence.
With atmosphere in the village tense the last few days, Rohtak District Magistrate Vikas Gupta had even banned any assembly of five or more people, imposing orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the area.
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Tags: assembly seat, bali, dozen supporters, grain market, haryana police, heinous crime, inspector general, legislator, lok, mohra, murder attempt, murder case, open defiance, police constable, police officials, show of strength, sticks and stones, surrenders, tractors, vigil