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Case too hot: Police probe a cover-up?

punjab Updated: Dec 22, 2014 08:00 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times

Summons to Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia by the Enforcement Directorate has raised questions on the probe by the Punjab Police into the multi-crore drug racket. Busted with the arrest of Anoop Singh Kahlon, an NRI, by the Fatehgarh Sahib police in March 2013, it led to the arrest of alleged kingpin Jagdish Bhola, a dismissed Punjab deputy superintendent of police (DSP), in November last year.

Both arrests came when Hardial Singh Mann was the senior superintendent of police at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Based on Bhola’s revelations, former Akali leader Bittu Aulakh and businessman Jagjit Singh Chahal, who owns pharmaceutical companies, from Amritsar were also arrested in operations under Mann, who was made the Patiala SSP in May 2013 but allowed to continue with the investigations.

However, the racing discoveries came to an abrupt end after the arrest of the duo from Amritsar.

While Bhola named Punjab revenue minister and SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia as the “kingpin” before the media outside court, Bittu Aulakh has since been in the custody of the Patiala police.

Chahal was granted regular bail by the Punjab and Haryana high court in March this year.

But the documents with the ED now reveal that the Punjab police chose to turn a blind eye once the name of Majithia surfaced in the statements of Bhola and other accused. The state’s home affairs ministry, under which the police work, is headed by none other than deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, the brother-in-law of Majithia.

“The accused in their oral statements had revealed that they knew Canada-based drug dealers Satpreet Satta and Parminder Pindi. But the police did not put it in their challan before the court. It seems that the state police developed cold feet once the name of the powerful minister cropped up,” sources in the ED said.

SSP Mann had accused Bhola of making baseless allegations to derail the probe.

Even the state director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini had held a hurried press conference to announce that Majithia was “not guilty”.

Bhola’s father, Balchinder Singh, later moved the HC seeking a CBI probe alleging that the state police was trying to defend three ministers involved in the drug racket.

He had claimed that his son had named the ministers during his interrogation by the Patiala police but was pressured not to reveal these.

The Patiala police placed the challan before the trial court without any mention anyone naming Majithia.

What lends credence to the allegations of a shoddy probe by the police is the fact that Mann was yet again transferred to Ferozepur while the investigations of the police remain on.

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