The Punjab Congress has appealed to chief election commissioner (CEC) VS Sampath to transfer the state's director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini during the Lok Sabha contest for a fair result.
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday led a 10-member delegation, including union minister Manish Tewari and state opposition leader Sunil Jakhar, to the CEC in Delhi to demand the posting of only Indian Police Service (IPS) officers as district police chiefs in the state during the poll battle.
The other delegates were Sangrur parliamentarian Vijay Inder Singla; legislators Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and OP Soni; and former legislators Harminder Singh Jassi, Surinder Singla, Sukhjinder Raj Singh Majithia, Jagpal Singh Abulkhurana, and Dr Amar Singh. They sat with Sampath for more than 45 minutes and asked him to take cognizance of Saini's role as Punjab Police chief.
"He coordinated the movement of money and other resources during the Vidhan Sabha elections in January 2012, in spite of being a serving officer. He is under trial for abduction and murder. His transfer and subsequent monitoring of his activities is critical to ensure that police do not influence the result in Punjab," reads the written complaint against Saini to the CEC.
Punjab Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira took the same demand to chief electoral officer (CEO) VK Singh, who sought a report from the Punjab home department. The delegation also told the CEC that all over the country, the district police chiefs were IPS officers normally, about which there were clear directions from the Supreme Court and the union government.
"In Punjab, the Akali government has posted Punjab Police Service (PPS) officers as senior superintendents of police (SSPs, district police chiefs) and given IPS officers side postings. The purpose is political clearly because the state police officers are easy to manipulate. The Punjab government should have clear orders to appoint only IPS officers as district police chiefs," reads the complaint to the CEC.
Punjab Police, during the seven-year current regime of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), had become a personal tool of the ruling combine, read the complaint. "During the Vidhan Sabha elections, they hindered the campaign of other parties," it added. The Congress delegation also gave the CEC the names of the PCS (Punjab Civil Services) and PPS officers who had won service extension or contract appointments.
It urged the CEC to protect of the voters' right to privacy by making arrangements for the mixing of ballots boxes while counting, and conduct the elections to all 13 parliamentary seats in Punjab in a single phase to rule out the use of money and muscle power.