Patiala – Radio journalist and social activist Baltej Pannu was arrested today for allegedly raping and cheating a woman employee of Punjabi University. Pannu has been instrumental in highlighting the shortcomings of Akali ministers in his programmes targeted at audiences in Canada, USA and Australia, etc.
The complainant, who runs a non-governmental organisation (NGO) for differently abled children, has accused Pannu of sexual exploiting her by making false promises. She also alleged that Pannu threatened to malign her image if she failed to do his bidding.
On the basis of the complaint, the police registered an FIR under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and arrested Pannu after raiding his house.
Patiala SSP Gurmeet Chauhan said they had recorded the victim’s statement in the presence of a Judicial Magistrate.
Sources said Pannu was being targeted by the state government as he had been critical of its performance.
Patiala MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi condemned the arrest of Pannu, claiming the arrest of any person without probe was not justified.