Cong slams IO's transfer, seeks CBI probe in Bhola drug racket

  • PTI/HTC, None, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 23:15 IST

The Congress on Saturday alleged political motive behind transferring the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigating officer who had interrogated Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia in Jalandhar about money laundering in the Jagdish Bhola synthetic drug racket.

It asked for the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to move the inquiry to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a Supreme Court judge. Attacking the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Punjab Congress president Pratap Singh Bajwa wrote to Modi, alleging a "conspiracy to hush up this narco-terrorism racket by the ruling powers". The Congress wants the case moved to another state and IO Niranjan Singh called back.

Bajwa linked the transfer decision to the questioning of Majithia about the multi-crore-rupee drugs scam, noting that he was brother-in-law of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and had been electoral campaign manager of now finance minister Arun Jaitley in Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency. Majithia has maintained that all allegations related to the drug racket are "baseless and without evidence".

Bajwa wrote that the officer who had interrogated Majithia, brother of Union minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal, had been transferred from Punjab days before the filing of the charge sheet in this case. "It is most unfortunate that the rule of law is being sacrificed at the altar of political expediency, especially in view of the fact that your party requires the support of the SAD in the coming Delhi elections," reads the letter.

He reminded Modi of his intent to free the country of drugs as claimed in his last "Mann Ki Baat" monthly radio address to the nation. Congress leader Manish Tewari said the transfer order was "extremely disturbing and regrettable development". In the past, the Supreme Court insulated officers who were engaged in sensitive investigations," he added, asking the finance minister to clarify, since the SAD and the BJP were allies in Punjab.

In Kapurthala, Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira alleged that the Punjab government and police had a role in the abrupt transfer of the ED officer to scuttle the investigation into the drug scandal. "After pressuring the police into giving a clean chit to Majithia within hours of Bhola's naming him, the Badal family now has derailed the near-complete ED investigation," he stated, referring to Bhola's allaying threat to his life.

Warring blames BJP

Bathinda: Newly appointed Indian Youth Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring has accused the BJP of adopting double standards on the drugs issue.

Holding his first public meeting outside his assembly constituency of Gidderbaha since taking over the new responsibility, Raja Warring said during the Youth Congress membership drive in Talwandi Sabo that the BJP that pretended to fight drugs was also protecting Majithia by transferring an official interrogating him in the drugs case. "With the transfer of Niranjan Singh, all hopes of a fair investigation are dashed. The BJP has backstabbed the people of Punjab," said Warring.

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