Creating sensation a week ahead of the parliamentary polls in Punjab, former Punjab DGP (jails) Shashi Kant on Tuesday revealed names of several politicians, alleging that they figured in the list of politicians involved in promoting drug peddlers, prepared by the intelligence wing of Punjab Police in 2007.
These include Congress’s Amritsar West MLA OP Soni, cabinet ministers Ajit Singh Kohar and Gulzar Singh Ranike, Khemkaran SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha, senior SAD leader Veer Singh Lopoke, Tarn Taran SAD MLA Harmeet Singh Sandhu, and Jimmy Kalia, a close aide of BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia.
Kant revealed this at a press conference here. However, the former DGP failed to substantiate his allegations with evidence. Kant said when the list was prepared, he was the ADGP (intelligence) and then DGP NPS Aulakh and current DGP Suresh Arora (also an ADGP rank official at the time) knew about the list. Revenue minister Bikram Majithia, who has been accused of drug peddling by drug lord Bhola, does not figure in the list. “He was only a kaka at the time,” Kant said. Kant also alleged that the clashes between Sikhs and Dera followers that occurred seven years ago were engineered by the Akali government. “The entire conspiracy was planned at the residence of Sukhbir Badal in Chandigarh,” he claimed.
Kant, who had joined Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, left the party in February, again to join it a few days later.
He wondered why former chief minister and Congress candidate from Amritsar Capt Amarinder Singh was not highlighting the issue of drug menace. Kant claimed that in 2007 when the Narcotics Control Bureau and Enforcement Directorate were to raid the house of minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had asked him to stop the two organisations since the latter had links with them.
“But now I am ashamed of having stopped them from doing their duty,” said Kant. He said had that raid taken place, the lives of several youths could have been saved.
When asked why he had revealed the names at this stage, Kant said he was doing this deliberately so that people could know about the real faces behind drug peddling before going to polls on April 30.
Shashi Kant gone mad, says cong’s OP Soni
Meanwhile, reacting to the allegations, Congress leader OP Soni said the former DGP had gone mad. “I will drag him into court tomorrow for naming me,” claimed Soni.
Capt Amarinder Singh said Kant’s statements were politically motivated. “When he was the ADGP and I the CM in 2007, why did he not reveal Soni’s name then?” he asked. Kohar and Ranike said it was a baseless allegation levelled against them and a conspiracy to defame them.
Manoranjan Kalia said though the timing of Kant’s revelations smelt of a political motive, they needed to be probed thoroughly either by the state or central agencies or by a sitting judge of the high court, and if anybody was found guilty, he must be brought to book.
SAD spokesperson Daljeet Singh Cheema claimed that Kant wanted to become a hero by levelling baseless allegations against Sukhbir.
Meanwhile, in Chandigarh, the SAD dismissed the allegations as a “cheap publicity stunt of a frustrated individual”. In a statement, SAD general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said Kant nursed a grouse against the SAD-BJP government for not fulfilling his ambition of becoming the Punjab DGP.
“Kant’s ravings are merely an expression of his personal failures in life. He tried his best to get a posting as the DGP of the state and, having failed to do so, even tried his hand at gaining some public status by announcing himself as the president of the state unit of AAP. But AAP also disowned him,” said Grewal. Grewal added that if Kant had any evidence of wrongdoings by any politician in Punjab, he should have recorded his findings in files.