The Punjab Police on Wednesday accused state Congress spokesman and former MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira of forging documents in connivance with a police sub-inspector to malign the reputation of revenue minister Bikram Majithia in hawala transactions.
According to inspector general of police (counter-intelligence) Gaurav Yadav, a detailed inquiry has revealed that the documents produced by Khaira during his press conferences in July this year to establish that Majithia was involved in hawala transactions were indeed fudged and fabricated.
Yadav claimed that the documents were fabricated in connivance with Punjab Police sub-inspector (SI) Swarn Gandhi, who was earlier posted in the financial intelligence unit (FIU).
The IGP, however, admitted that the probe by the intelligence unit of the Punjab Police in the past few months had not so far been able to establish whether it was Khaira or Gandhi who had forged the documents. The IG said Gandhi had denied his involvement in this, claiming that the call detailed record (CDR) chart he had given to Khaira did not have Majithia’s mobile number.
“It is still a matter of investigation for which we have asked the Sangrur senior superintendent of police (SSP) to carry out a thorough probe and take it to the logical conclusion for the necessary legal action. The IO, during the course of inquiry, would establish at what level and by whom the documents were forged and who was responsible for deliberately incorporating the minister’s phone number,” Yadav said, adding that Khaira’s role in the issue would come under the scanner.
The press conference at the centre of it
Khaira had organised a press conference in Chandigarh on July 17 in which he had alleged that the mobile number (98140-00003) belonging to Majithia was in touch with Pabla and Rohit Goel (hawala racketeers) and Rs 70 lakh was exchanged through hawala transaction. Khaira had also released a CDR of the FIU to buttress his claim of Majithia’s alleged involvement in the hawala transaction.
Khaira, when contacted, said it was yet another attempt by the Punjab DGP to concoct a story to divert people’s attention from Majithia on the direction of his political bosses who were in deep trouble over the issue.
“I had made a formal complaint to the enforcement directorate on July 24. What have the police been doing in the past four months? All this is being done to mislead the people of Punjab. I will not be cowed down or intimidated by the police on the direction of the Badals. It seems a blatant attempt to save Majithia. The SI must have been arm-twisted by the police to issue a false statement,” Khaira said, adding that if the state government actually wanted the truth, let there be a probe into the entire matter by a sitting Punjab and Haryana HC judge. Meanwhile, police inquiry sais Gandhi got acquainted with Khaira during his posting in the state human rights commission; They remained in touch over the phone.
Yadav said Gandhi’s motive in providing the phone call chart was to get even with one Lakhwinder Singh, who had complained against him in 2011 for stealing his two mobile phones. On the complaint of Lakhwinder, who was also a drug dealer, the police had registered a case against Gandhi at Ahmedgarh in Sangrur. Gandhi was later arrested and is on bail now.
Meanwhile, in a statement here, Khaira reiterated his allegations that the state police were not investigating the alleged payment of Rs 70 lakh “drug money” to Majithia by “hawala kingpin” Gurmeet Manchanda and the assertions made by prime accused Jagdish Bhola. “Though the Badals, backed by the Punjab DGP, tried their best to hush up the revelations made by Bhola against Majithia, much more incriminating evidence has now surfaced,” he said.