Transfer of ED officer: Manpreet alleges cover-up

  • HT Correspondent, None, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 23:00 IST

People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Saturday said that in the transfer of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer interrogating Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia lay a deeper conspiracy to hush up the drug racket investigation.

He said this transfer should be seen in the context of the ED officials' moving the Punjab and Haryana high court against harassment by the Punjab Police. Manpreet said the transfer, coming when the investigation was on and Majithia had been questioned once, raised serious doubts. "The orders have come close on the heels of the first interrogation of drug racket accused Bittu Aulakh in the custody of the ED, which had sought permission to grill three accused who had been arrested based on the leads secured from prime accused Jagdish Bhola, who had named Majithia," he said.

The PPP president said the transfer was not a routine matter when the officer concerned had a high-profile case in hand. "Majithia is brother of Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and brother-in-law of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, which makes it not an ordinary drug-smuggling case," he argued.

Saying the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) should take over the case and look into it under the high court supervision, he added that doubts had come in the day the accused had clean chit even before the police investigation had started.

Setback to PM's crusade: AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also shocked at the transfer. Its state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur on Saturday said here that it was a setback to the Prime Minister's crusade against drugs.

"When the case was nearing a possible charge-sheet stage, the master stroke of the finance ministry, this transfer order, has laid bare the petty Akali-BJP politics to save each other. The BJP is desperate to win the Delhi assembly elections, while the Akalis want a breather from the drug case heat, as their popularity is its lowest ever, evident by the negligible crowd at their last political conference during Maghi Mela," said Chhotepur.

AAP spokesman Ahbaab Singh Grewal said the transfer coming after the directorate had reported phone-tapping and various kinds of police pressure was unfortunate,

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