Former MLA arrested for 'assaulting' woman sarpanch in Jammu

National Conference leader and former MLA Gagan Bhagat was arrested Thursday for allegedly abusing and thrashing a woman sarpanch in the border belt of R S Pura in Jammu district, officials said.

The alleged incident of thrashing was reported in the area on Saturday but the video, purportedly showing the NC leader attacking sarpanch Seema Devi and her supporters, went viral on the social media Wednesday, prompting police to register a case.

“He was arrested around 2 pm in R S Pura belt in connection with a case of thrashing (of woman sarpanch and her supporters)”, SDPO R S Pura, Sahil Prashur, told PTI.

He said the case is being investigated.

The video purportedly showed Bhagat thrashing Devi and her supporters in R S Pura over the issue of taking credit for installing power transformer in Raipur Sajda village in the constituency.

In the video, Bhagat is seen questioning the credentials of an elected sarpanch of the area for installation of the transformer in the area and entering into verbal brawl and assault.

An FIR was registered against him.

Bhagat wanted to rule the areas by using “muscle power”, Devi told reporters here.

The sarpanchs and panchs of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) led by its president Anil Sharma held protests in R S Pura in support of the action against the NC leader.

After being expelled from the BJP recently for his “anti-party” activities, former MLA from RS Pura, Bhagat, joined the NC in presence of the party president Farooq Abdullah in December last year. Going against the party line, the MLA had on December 3 moved the Supreme Court challenging the dissolution of state Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik calling it “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.