An ex-serviceman accused a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator of kidnapping his daughter—a charge the MLA denied on Monday, saying he would resign if the matter was proved.
Gagan Bhagat, who represents RS Pura Assembly constituency, said he is set to move to the court on Tuesday, and file a defamation case against Rajinder Singh, who has levelled the allegations.
An unfazed Singh, along with his neighbours in RS Pura, staged a protest in Jammu outside the Press Club, reiterating that his daughter was abducted by the BJP legislator. He even issued a press release that said it was last week on reaching Desh Bhagat University in Punjab, where she is a first-year student of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery course, that the daughter was found missing.
Singh’s note says he had reached the Amloh campus in Fatehgarh Sahib district on June 21 to take her home ahead of the summer vacation. It was then he “came to know that she was already taken by the MLA on March 18” without informing the family. A year ago, Singh had approached the legislator for his daughter’s admission, the statement recalls.
Bhagat denies the claim of abduction. “The girl has talked to senior police officials, stating she has not been kidnapped,” he adds. “The girl would come before the media and would disclose everything.”
The MLA said the family of the girl was trying to take “political mileage” by creating a “controversy”. “I will come out clean, so it will be I who will get political mileage out of this,” the legislator said. Asked why the girl was in touch with him, Bhagat said he, as the MLA, “is in contact with every person” of his constituency.
On his part, Singh said he has appealed to the state governor to “save the daughter of the Dalit parivar” from the MLA or else “I will go for self-immolation”.
When Outlook sought to contact him, Singh said, “I am not in a position to talk. What I had to say is all there in the press release.”