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War of words over arrest of Akali leader

india Updated: Oct 04, 2013 21:57 IST
Kamaldeep Singh Brar

The arrest of four alleged criminals from a sarpanch's house in Jagha Ram Tirath village in Bathinda, on Thursday, has triggered a war of words.

What had raised the decibel levels is that one of those arrested Harjinder Singh is reportedly the husband of the sarpanch Harpal Kaur. Harjinder has been convicted and sentenced for 15 years in drug peddling case.

Harjinder had joined SAD around six months ago.

Jumping into the fray, alleged gangster-turned politician Lakhvir Singh Lakha Sidhana has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter.

"The criminals lodged inside the house (from where they were arrested) of the sarpanch made calls to two personal assistants of education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, pleading for their lives. This needs to be investigated by the CBI."

Interestingly, Sidhana was previously known to be close to Maluka. He is now a member of the People's Party of Punjab (PPP). He was reportedly injured in an attack by Jodha and Seeran, the arrested accused, before the zila parishad elections.

"I was attacked by Jodhan and Seera on the instructions of Maluka to kill me," claimed Sidhana, who had contested against Maluka in the last assembly polls.

"Seera and I have worked together for Maluka," claimed the PPP leader.

Former Congress MLA from Rampuraphul Gurpreet Singh Kangar has also alleged that the accused used to drive the car for Maluka and his son.

When contacted, Maluka said that Sidhana used to visit him in his student politics days. "I do not know who Jodha and Seera are. I have never met them. However, they are active supporters of Congress leader Gurpreet Kangar and even campaigned for him."

Kangar rubbished these allegations.

"These are allegations and I do not need to react," said Maluka.

Wanted in four states

The four accused, who have been remanded to police custody till October 8, are wanted in 15 districts for their alleged involvement in cases of dacoity, murder, supari killing, robberies, vehicle-snatching (luxury cars) and possession of illegal weapons. The accused are also wanted in Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan and Gujarat.