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Gram panchayat vice-president arrested for assaulting woman member

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Belagavi: The vice-president of Benkanhalli gram panchayat, Mohan Rama Sambrekar (elected from Ward No.9), and his wife Sunita were arrested by Camp police for allegedly assaulting a woman member of the panchayat late on Tuesday night. About 20 other accused are stated to be absconding.

The Sambrekars allegedly led a group of over 20 youth and started pelting stones at the house of SaherbanuAlisabHukkeri (elected from Ward No.10) in Ganeshpur at about 10 p.m. They broke the glass window panes and forcibly entered their house shouting and abusing Ms. Hukkeri. “We were shocked and immediately shifted my mother to another room to ensure her safety, but they started hitting me and my father, we suffered head injuries, “saidAyub, son of the Hukkeri couple, on Wednesday.

He said they went to the civil hospital for treatment and also registered a complaint with the police at the hospital itself, following which the police arrested Sambrekars but about 20 others were found absconding.

He said though Mr. Sambrekar had been issuing threats on various occasions over certain issues concerning development works in Ganeshpur area, it was for the first time that he led a personal attack. Though Ms. Hukkeri was let off, Mr. Sambrekar sported a knife and threatened to kill him first and then his mother. “My mother is frightened and fears that he (Mr. Sambrekar) would attack them again after coming out on bail.”

The reason for the assault was that Ms. Hukkeri had installed street lamps near Shiva temple in Saraswati Nagar between Ward No.9 and 10 in Ganeshpur about two months ago. The residents of the locality had been demanding street lamps for long. Enraged with this, Mr. Sambrekar ensured that they were removed. However, Ms. Hukkerimobilised public contributions and re-installed the lamps which against enraged him.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) G. Radhika met the Hukkeri family and assured them of safety.

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