Getting the support of Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and three other MLAs, former Congress MLA and party spokesman Sukhpal Khaira on Sunday claimed that he had learnt from top sources in police that the ruling Badals had deputed seven SSP-rank officers to concoct fake evidence against him under the NDPS Act.
“The police under political pressure first recorded a false statement of Gurdev Singh, a former sarpanch of Lakhan Ke Padde village, after torturing him to falsely implicate me in a drug case. They then ordered the formation of a special investigation team (SIT), which recently pressed my PSO, Joga Singh, to sign blank papers. He was detained for four nights for interrogation,” Khaira said.
He said the Badals had a history of conflict with his family. “They are trying to dig into an old case against my father, in which he was given a clean chit. Even my son, Mehtaab, has been named in a false case. I also fear physical elimination, at the behest of the ruling Badals, by the Punjab DGP. Given their history, the possibility cannot be ruled out,” Khaira said while addressing mediapersons at Congress Bhawan on Sunday.
Flanked by MLAs Kuljit Nagra, Charanjit Singh Channi and Guriqbal Kaur, Bajwa warned the Badals against falsely implicating the party spokesperson in a drug-related “bogus” case.
“It is an attempt to intimidate, threaten and gag his voice against their rampantly corrupt and tyrannical rule. The Badal duo and their police militia have once again embarked upon their favourite political vendetta drive, by singling out important party functionaries to gag the voice of the opposition. The latest target once again is Khaira against whom the Badal regime has already registered six false FIRs during the past few years,” he said.
Bajwa said if pictures with alleged criminals alone proved guilt, then the SITs should have been formed against drug operations of the Badal family ministers, Bikram Majithia and Adaish Partap Singh Kairon.
“There are pictures of Bittu Aulakh, co-accused in the Rs 6,000 crore infamous Jagdish Bhola drug racket, with the CM, Sukhbir and Majithia. Amritsar-based businessman Jagjit Chahal has on record told the Enforcement Directorate about giving Rs 35 lakh funds to Majithia in the drawing room of his 43 Green Avenue residence at Amritsar in 2008, but no SIT has been formed against him. Similarly, Sahib Singh of Patti, a close aide of Adaish Kairon, was recently arrested with 14kg of heroin by the Amritsar police, but no investigation has been ordered against him either,” the state Congress chief alleged.
The Congress has decided to meet the Punjab governor shortly to apprise him of the “political vendetta against an important party functionary”. Like they had falsely framed Ludhiana MLAs Bains brothers, they wanted to put Khaira too behind bars, Bajwa said.
‘Why Khaira being hounded by Badals’
Bajwa and Khaira said the Badals were hounding him for taking the ruling dispensation head on. A press note said Khaira is on record as a complainant in a petition of 2008 in the Supreme Court seeking shifting of the corruption and disproportionate assets case of the Badal family out of Punjab. He is also a petitioner in the Supreme Court for the “wrongful” allocation of Rs 1 crore government funds to Sanawar school in Himachal, by Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Badal, an alumnus of the school.
It was on Khaira’s complaint to the Election Commission dated January 30, 2014 that Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini was replaced as DGP during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. Khaira had also made a formal complaint dated July 24, 2014 to the Enforcement Directorate against Bikram Majithia into the alleged Rs 70 lakh “hawala” transaction.
The status of six cases
Khaira claimed that of the six cases, one was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana high court on October 18, 2008, and three cases fell flat and had been cancelled by the lower courts. In another case under the SC and ST Act, the high court had stayed the proceedings, while a notice of motion had been issued in the remaining case.
In one more matter of defamation filed by Gurdip Singh Jujhar, a frontman of Sukhbir Badal, related to Fastway company case at a court in Ludhiana, the high court has restrained the court from passing a final order.
Next in vendetta list, says Nagra
Congress MLA Kuljit Nagra said he, too, had learnt that he is next in the list of political vendetta. Nagra, who had a spat with the SDM of his constituency last year, said, “If you don’t bow down to the Badals, police or bureaucracy, they hunt you down. But we will keep raising our head.”
MLA Guriqbal Kaur said a block president of her area, too, was dragged out of his house and Congress workers were later implicated in a false case of death of someone who came under a police car.
MLA Charanjit Channi, too, has been warned and taunted by the CM on the floor of the assembly,” Bajwa said.
Read: Badals bent upon framing Cong leaders in false cases: Bajwa