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Akali big fish in deep waters

punjab Updated: Feb 20, 2012 13:55 IST
Surinder Maan
Surinder Maan
Hindustan Times
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A sex scandal is all set to destroy the political career of former education minister Tota Singh.



Senior Akali leader Tota Singh is a strong contender for post of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president.On Friday, the Supreme Court termed the April 2007 scandal an extraordinary case, fit for the CBI investigation.



Barjinder Singh, son of Tota Singh, is one of the main suspects in scandal into which the CBI began looking after the Punjab and Haryana high court took suo motu notice of the case. Some senior and junior-level police officers are also said to be involved.



Barjinder Singh alias Makhan Brar is one of the senior vice-presidents of the Shiromani Akali Dal youth wing and former president of the Moga municipal council. In December 2007, the Punjab government had challenged the high court orders for the CBI investigation in the Supreme Court on the ground that the high court had “over-stretched” its suo motu jurisdiction powers.



The scandal brought the caretakers of law, men in khaki from a lowly constable to the district police chief, into the hall of shame, on their arrest as suspects.



In February 2009, when the CBI arrested former Moga senior superintendent of police Davinder Singh Garcha, SP (headquarters) Paramdep Singh, and two junior police officials of the rank of station house officer (SHO) for their alleged role in the scandal, the Punjab government moved the Supreme Court to stall the CBI investigation.



The apex court granted the government no reprieve, yet the latter shielded the suspects, declining to let the CBI prosecute the police officers. In February 2010, the CBI wrote to the SSPs of Moga, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar to put the scandal on the officers’ record, so that it went on their passports, ration cards, and firearms’ licences.



The names of two senior police officers recorded as criminals, the CBI asked the police chiefs of four districts to register the names of eight other suspects, including Akali leader Barjinder Singh. This way, at the time of police verification, the taint will be highlighted.



Sub-inspector Raman Kumar, Moga police inspector Amarjit Singh, two women Manjit Kaur and Manpreet Kaur, businessman Sukhraj Singh, and lawyers Ranbir Singh and Karamjjit Singh are the other suspects.

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