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Opium probe against Jaswant

india Updated: Nov 06, 2007 05:20 IST
Vinod Vithal and KS Tomar
Vinod Vithal and KS Tomar
Hindustan Times
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A special court on Monday directed the police to register a case against Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Jaswant Singh for allegedly serving milk laced with opium to guests at a social gathering he hosted on October 31. Nine other BJP leaders, who attended the gathering at Singh’s village Rasol in Barmer district, will also be charged.

The order strengthens Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s position and comes as a blow to rebels whom Singh has been allegedly patronising. The other nine comprise three cabinet ministers, two MPs, two MLAs and a former BJP state president, all of whom are opposed to Raje.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court in Jodhpur asked the police to inquire into the allegation and submit a report, following a complaint by Om Prakash Bishnoi, a resident of Barmer.

“An impartial inquiry will be held. There is no question of favouring anyone,” said Gulab Chand Kataria, home minister and a supporter of Raje.

While acknowledging that serving opium at the thanksgiving ‘Riyan’ function was an old Rajput tradition, Singh’s son Manavendra insisted that no intoxicant had been served at the gathering. “No opium was served to any guest. We served a mixture of water, molasses and tea,” he told HT.