High-profile revenue minister Bikram Majithia appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here on Friday amid protests by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Congress. The agency questioned the minister for more than four hours.
Contrary to the claims of the local ED office that Majithia would be questioned by Jalandhar-based officials, Majithia’s grilling was supervised by ED special director Karnal Singh, a former joint commissioner in Delhi Police. The move apparently shows that the ED headquarters in Delhi is closely monitoring the probe.
Majithia, who landed at the ED office on Cool Road here at 10.20 am, kept the visit a low-key affair as he arrived in a private car. The minister, who carried a big file of documents, was accompanied by his lawyer.
The big presence of the media visibly upset the minister as he sarcastically asked the cameramen to click the photographs properly while capturing the mood.
Majithia was questioned behind closed doors by Karnal Singh, joint director Girish Bali and interrogation officer and assistant director Niranjan Singh, sources said, adding that the minister had come armed with complete documents about the details sought and cooperated with the ED officials. The minister also produced documents showing he had no relations with Canada-based NRIs Satpreet Singh, Amarinder Singh and Parminder Singh, as alleged by Bhola.
Extended full cooperation: Majithia
Later, Majithia claimed that he had extended full cooperation to the agency at such a short notice as he was keen on joining the investigation and ensuring that the truth was out. “I have acted in a proactive manner since having received the summons on December 19. I was busy with the assembly session and could have asked for another date, but decided to present myself before the agency at the first available opportunity,” he added.
The minister said that from day one he had maintained that the truth should be out and was keen that the investigation be speeded up. “Five central agencies have already investigated the matter during the UPA government and found nothing amiss. I want the media trial that I have been subjected to for the past one year to be over, and am keen on answering all queries,” the minister said.
Majithia’s effigies burnt
Meanwhile, tension prevailed outside the ED office as Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha workers gathered outside the agency office and burnt an effigy of Majithia besides raising slogans against him. Around 10 workers were taken into preventive custody. Congress workers also burnt his effigy. Party workers led by district chief Rajinder Beri were detained near BMC Chowk as they tried to march towards the ED office. They were released later. In Amritsar also, the ABVP burnt an effigy of Majithia outside Hall Gate.