Family of Late Colonel Jojan Thomas, who died in action in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara on August 22, 2008, was harassed and threatened by a panchayat member in Bengaluru rural district on Friday over a trivial issue.
The incident took place on October 23, when Manjunath Gowda, a member of the Hasigala gram panchayat of Bengaluru Rural, had bought a new mini lorry and took his vehicle to the petrol pump owned by late Colonel's wife, Beena Thomas. He filled up the tank of his lorry to 186 litres in total. However, when asked for the payment, he argued that his fuel tank capacity was 180 litres and will not pay for anything extra, Beena told The News Minute.
He hurled accusations and later called his supporters to the petrol pump, who started assaulting and threatening the employees, including the supervisor.
"They beat my manager. They were not letting my employees out of the petrol station. They got two big trucks and parked it at the entrance and exit (of the petrol pump)," Beena said. Gowda allegedly disconnected the CCTV footage and also shut off electricity at the petrol pump.
He began telling customers who were arriving at the station that the petrol pump employees and the employers were duping customers.
When Beena reached the petrol station in the evening, Gowda allegedly 'disregarded her late husband's contribution to the country' and threatened to vandalise his statue, located in Hasigala. Thomas was awarded the Ashoka Chakra for his service to the nation.
On Saturday, Beena's daughter, Meghana Thomas tweeted to the Director-General and Inspector General of Police Praveen Sood, about the incident.
To verify all sorts of accusations made by Gowda, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and the Department of Weights and Measures officials visited for inspection and found the quantity and quality of the fuel at par with the required standards.
The Sulibele police arrested Gowda and produced him before the local magistrate. He is in judicial custody now. An FIR is registered against him and others under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 341 (wrongful restraint), 448 (trespass), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.