Calgary radio host says he was assaulted, believes attack was politically motivated
A Calgary radio host who says he was the victim of a swarming attack says he believes he was targeted because of an unfavourable post he shared on social media involving an aspiring UCP nomination candidate.
Kumar Sharma said he was attending an outdoor concert on Aug. 19 when he was confronted by two men who he says are supporters of Hardyal Singh Happy Mann, a United Conservative nomination candidate for Calgary-Falconridge.
Sharma said “the situation became so tense [he] feared for his safety” and he deleted the Facebook post on the spot. When he left the concert and approached his car, he said he was swarmed by several men and assaulted.
“I was viciously attacked from behind from a group of men… There were at least seven men who attacked me all at once. I did not recognize any of these individuals,” Sharma said.
“This has had a very severe impact on my health, on my emotional well-being and on my family.”
Calgary police have confirmed with Global News that they are investigating the alleged assault.
At a news conference hosted by Calgary Forest Lawn MP Deepak Obhrai on Monday, Sharma and Obhrai produced a photo which they said had been taken by one of Sharma’s friends who witnessed the alleged attack. They also claimed one of the alleged assailants has been pictured in multiple campaign photographs with Mann.
When reached for comment, Mann said he was “shocked and surprised to see Mr. Sharma and his team… falsely accuse me of being involved in this incident.”
“If anyone who is known to me from the community chooses to harm Mr. Sharma in any way, [it] does not mean that I have somehow encouraged him to take that action,” he said in a statement. “Every adult individual is responsible for their own actions.”
Mann admitted he recognized one of the men in the picture but said the man was a volunteer and not part of his campaign.
“We live in a very close-knit community and we are all friends and know each other at various levels,” Mann said.
A statement from the UCP said the party “strongly condemns these violent acts, and wish Mr. Sharma a full and speedy recovery.”
The UCP said it is reviewing the incident, noting that Mann has not yet been approved to run by the party.
Mann said he will co-operate fully with the police investigation, adding he intends to start legal action against Sharma and Obhrai for defamation.
None of the claims made have been proven in court nor has the reliability and accuracy of the photo of the alleged assault.
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