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Punjab: Scheduled Caste panel seeks report from Punjab govt after youth accuses minister Lal Chand Kataruchak of sexual misconduct

The victim Keshav Kumar has accused Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak of grooming and soliciting sexual favours in return for offering a job

On Friday (May 15), the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) issued notice to the Aam Aadmi Party-led-Punjab government regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak.

It asked the government to submit a report on the matter and the Director General of Police (Punjab) to provide security to the victim. “The Commission has decided to investigate/ inquire into the matter in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India, ” NCSC said.

“Please take notice that in case the Commission does not receive a reply from you within the stipulated time, the Commission may exercise the powers of Civil courts conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India and issue summons for your appearance in person or by a representative before the Commission,” it cautioned.

Screengrab of the NCSC notice

Meanwhile, the victim (identified as one Keshav Kumar) has come forward to share his ordeal before the public. He has accused Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak of grooming and soliciting sexual favours in return for offering a job.

He said that Kataruchak had called him to Gurdaspur and took him to his office for his “sexual excesses.” He said that he met Kataruchak during Diwali in 2021 when he was promised a govt job. He said, “he then promised me a government job stating that he would become an MLA soon. After that he did not meet me and asked me not to approach him,” the victims said.

In a tweet, Shiromani Akali Dal hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and demanded a probe into the incident. “This is a serious case of abuse, grooming and sexual exploitation of (then) a vulnerable minor lured for job and needs probing. How can this person be a lawmaker?” it asked.

“Rather than suspending and placing under investigation why are Bhagwant Mann and AAPshielding the alleged perpetrator of the gross & vile crimes that have no place in any society? This remote-controlled government like their tainted Food and Supplies minister needs to be kicked out,” the party emphasised.

On May 1, Congress MLA from Bholath and chairman of the All India Kisan Congress Sukhpal Singh Khaira met the Punjab Governor, Banwarilal Purohit and accused one of the Punjab Cabinet Ministers of sexual misconduct.

Although he did not name ‘names,’ Khaira handed over alleged objectionable video clips of the misconduct and demanded the expulsion of the said AAP Minister.

Taking cognisance of the incident, BJP’s Manjinder Singh Sirsa also tweeted saying that “a highly obscene video of AAP Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak has been submitted to Governor Punjab.”

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