Haryana transport minister Om Prakash Jain and chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Zile Ram Sharma were stripped of their rank on Thursday following accusations of their involvement in the murder of a former sarpanch of a Karnal village.
Director general of police, Ranjeev Singh Dalal, said that the case pertaining to their alleged involvement in the murder has been handed over to State Crime Branch and would be investigated by a senior police officer.
Dalal told HT that the exact cause of death could only be known only after the report of viscera was received.
"The probe will be directly supervised by ADGP Crime, Sharad Kumar," Dalal said.
Acting two days after former sarpanch of Kambopura village in Karnal, Karam Singh (57), died under mysterious circumstances, the chief minister asked them to tender their resignations.
The son of deceased, Rajinder Singh, had alleged that they had paid up Rs 13 lakh to Jain and Sharma who promised government jobs to him and his cousins.
"However, we never got any government job," he alleged.
He accused Jain and Sharma of being evasive when his father asked them to return money.
On June 6, Karam Singh sent a complaint against the duo to the chief minister.
The next day, Singh was found lying in an unconscious state near National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) Karnal with injury marks on his stomach. The post mortem report suggested that the victim had died due to poisoning.
His family continues to allege that Singh had gone to meet Sharma in Karnal and was killed by his men.
Jain was also held the portfolios of tourism, civil aviation and hospitality. These portfolios will now be taken over by the chief minister.
An independent MLA from Panipat, Jain is one of the seven independent MLAs who were rewarded with ministerial berths for supporting Congress in 2009 to form the government.
The Congress was left searching for a simple majority in 90 member house when it managed to win only 40 seats in 2009 assembly polls.
Sharma won from Assandh assembly seat as a nominee of Kuldeep Bishnoi's Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) before switching sides to join the ruling Congress along with four other HJC MLAs. In fact, a petition seeking disqualification of Sharma and four others is pending before the Speaker.
A state government official said that their resignations were sought in the interest of fair investigations. While Jain's resignation was forwarded to the governor for acceptance, the resignation of Sharma was accepted by the chief minister.